15th Jul, 2020

Two extra months for threatened prisoner who walked out of Hewell

Correspondent 22nd Mar, 2018

A MAN walked out of prison because he was under threat from other inmates after he refused to smuggle in phones and drugs for them.

Convicted burglar John Robinson pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to escaping from lawful custody at HMP Hewell near Redditch.

But Robinson, 45, of Bath Street, Rugby, was jailed for just two months, consecutive to the 28 months he is already serving, after the judge heard what was behind his escape.

Prosecutor Mark Williams said Robinson had 39 previous convictions for 120 offences, and had received his latest sentence at the crown court in October last year for burglary.

He was serving his time at HMP Hewell, but absconded between returning from the prison farm at 5.30pm on January 25 and evening rollcall two hours later.

Robinson was circulated as wanted, and was arrested five days later near his family’s home in Bath Street.

He told them he had been under pressure to take parcels which were to be left at the farm into the prison, and threatened if he refused.

He said he had been assaulted previously for refusing to carry a parcel, and as a result of making a complaint had ended up ‘in solitary.’

Andrew Tucker, defending, said Robinson had broken a long-term heroin addiction, but ‘fell into the wrong crowd again’ and committed the offence which had led to him being jailed.

“In the summer of last year he was approached by a man who asked him to take a package from the laundry, into the closed part of “He looked in the package and saw phones and the drug spice, and refused – and he was promptly attacked.

“He was then transferred to the open part of Hewell but in the week he absconded he was approached by two men.”

He was ordered to bring in a package that would be dropped at the farm that Thursday, and was then threatened.

“On the Thursday he made no attempt to look for the package, but contacted the governor to ask for it to be ensured he would be searched.

However no officer was on duty to stop and, fearful of what would happen, jumped a fence and escaped.

Jailing Robinson for two months consecutive to his current sentence, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: “You found yourself in a very unenviable situation.

“No-one’s going to be helped by you staying in prison any longer than necessary, so I’m going to make it as short as I can.”

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