Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Jamaican drug dealer facing deportation was sent to an open prison in Britain

David Williams:

Jamaican Ransford James Baker simply walked out and is still free 18 days later.

The case is the latest in the seemingly-endless series of scandals and blunders at the Home Office.

The details emerged alongside startling new figures showing that more than 8,000 prisoners, including murders and rapists, have absconded from open prisons since 1997 and a quarter are still at large.

Another 3,350 never returned after being given 'temporary permission' for outings, usually for a daytime work placement or events such as funerals.

The Parliamentary figures added to the earlier revelation that more than 20 murderers absconded from Leyhill Open prison, near Bristol, in just five years. Six rapists, 41 robbers and 103 burglars were also among the prisoners there who disappeared at a rate of one a week.

New Home Secretary John Reid tried to get a grip on the crisis by removing junior minister Tony McNulty, the man who presided over the failure to deport hundreds of foreign prisoners, from his job.

But Mr McNulty was simply shifted sideways to look after police and anti-terrorism. His immigration brief goes to Liam Byrne, who has been at the Home Office only as long as Mr Reid.

Baker, 51, was arrested at Gatwick in July 2003 as he tried to smuggle cocaine on a flight from the West Indies.

Two months later he was jailed for six and a half years, with Judge William Barnett, QC, recommending that he should be deported at the end of his sentence. Instead, he was sent to spend the final weeks of it in Ford Open jail, West Sussex - and vanished.

Amazingly, there are said to be another 30 foreigners in the same situation at open prisons.

One prison officer said yesterday: "Its a no-brainer. If a prisoner knows he is facing deportation and doesn't want to return to his homeland, he is going to disappear, given the chance. Often, we are giving him the chance despite consistently flagging warnings."

The figures on absconding reveal that 887 prisoners walked out of the UK's 16 open prisons last year alone. Some were missing for only minutes, but others disappeared without trace.

Prison Service chief executive Phil Wheatley said Leyhill was about average for an open prison. He said 'something over three-quarters' of absconders are rearrested but admitted that some will have offended again.

Absconding from an open prison is as simple as walking out of the front gate, as they have little or no security. Offenders are sent there towards the end of their sentence, as they are prepared for release.

Jamaican druggist walks out of open prison in UK


At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Lester said...

This will not really work, I suppose this way.
ear-canal headphones ipod | nokia n8 case cover | tigcig tc 402 | ipad 2 docking station | samsung galaxy s2 screen protector


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats