Thorn Cross prisoner still on the run more than one week after escape

Thorn Cross prisoner still on the run more than one week after escape

Thorn Cross prisoner still on the run more than one week after escape

First published in News

MORE than one week on from escaping Thorn Cross prison, a dangerous robber is still at large.

John Arnold, who was given a two-year indeterminate sentence in 2006, was reported as missing alongside firearms prisoner Anthony Peloe last Tuesday morning.

Peloe was caught in Speke the following day but the search for 30-year-old Arnold is still on-going.

On the Warrington Guardian Facebook page, many readers said they were shocked and scared by the news while others said they were angry dangerous criminals were being sent to open prisons.

A series of open prison breaks have taken place across the country following armed robber Michael ‘Skullcracker’ Wheatley escaping at the start of this month leading to a public outcry.

Appleton parish councillor John Price visited Thorn Cross before the pair had been reported as missing and said staff are trying to address the problem.

He added: “I was apprehensive before I went but it was a positive experience as you could see that the prison is doing its best.

“The prison shows the inmates respect and kindness and we now have a clearer view of what happens there.

“Walk outs are still a concern to everybody but they are trying to address it.

“The intermediate rehabilitation is necessary for the broader community and we saw a positive atmosphere in the prison.”

After calls for a change to the system, justice secretary Chris Grayling announced last Wednesday procedures were being ‘tightened up as matter of urgency’.

He added: "Absconds have reached record lows under this Government but I take each and every incident seriously.

"With immediate effect, prisoners will no longer be transferred to open conditions or allowed out on temporary release if they have previously absconded, and there will also be no unrestricted ‘town leave’.”

Warrington South MP David Mowat added the situation needed to be sorted quickly and it was ‘clearly necessary’ the criteria for transfers to open prisons had to be reviewed.

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