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Hollesley Bay fugitive fathered child and worked as tree surgeon during four years at large

PUBLISHED: 08:23 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:23 16 June 2017

Suffolk magistrates' Court in Ipswich. File picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk magistrates' Court in Ipswich. File picture: GREGG BROWN

Justice has finally caught up with one of Hollesley Bay open prison’s longest-standing fugitives.

Hollesley absconder Jonathan McCarthy Hollesley absconder Jonathan McCarthy

Burglar Jonathan McCarthy is back behind bars after being caught following four years on the run.

The 26-year-old failed to return to the jail on July 19, 2013, after being given a five days temporary home release.

During his time at large McCarthy had fathered another child and been working as a tree surgeon with his uncle, South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard.

Appearing via video link from HMP Altcourse in Liverpool it emerged McCarthy had been caught after shoplifting in north Wales and then failing to stop after an accident in a vehicle he was not insured or licensed to drive. He also obstructed a police officer.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said McCarthy was given temporary home leave from Hollesley Bay on July 15, 2013.

However, after returning to the home he shares with his wife in Bream Close, Tottenham, he failed to go back to Hollesley.

McCarthy had been serving a 42-month jail term in June 2012 for four burglaries and criminal damage.

He arrived at the Suffolk open prison on May 30, 2013, and was due to be released on licence on August 31, 2013.

McCarthy had links in the Irish Republic and enquiries were made in County Limerick, but there was no trace of him.

McCarthy was arrested in Wales on June 5. He received a 30-day prison sentence and was banned from driving for 12 months.

Graham Skippen, representing McCarthy who admitted remaining unlawfully at large after his temporary release from Hollesley Bay, said his client was a father of two daughters aged four and two.

It was said McCarthy’s father died in Ireland and he went over to sort out the funeral.

Mr Skippen said: “Morally maybe justified, but not legally.”

“He carried on working as a tree surgeon with his uncle (and) he has done since.”

Sentencing McCarthy to four months’ imprisonment District Judge R W Johnson told him: “You knew full well what you were doing. You made not attempt to return to prison. You thought you could evade justice, but justice has caught up with you.”

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