Suffolk: Crime Commissioner brands police response to telling public about face-slashing racist robber Jerry Monerville being on the run as ‘unsatisfactory’
PUBLISHED: 10:56 17 April 2014
Questions are to be asked of Suffolk police after they took nearly 20 hours to inform the public a racist face-slashing robber was on the run.
It is the third time in less than three years that concerns have been raised over delays by the force in alerting people about violent fugitives.
The latest is Jerry Monerville who was serving an eight-year sentence for twice slashing the face of a 15-year-old Asian boy in London in November 2010.
Monerville, 49, failed to return to Hollesley Bay open prison by 3.30pm on Tuesday after being given leave to go to London last Friday.
Police were informed he was missing at around 5.30pm on Tuesday, but only released the information at 12.55pm yesterday.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Suffolk police were contacted by HMP Hollesley Bay just after 5:30pm yesterday reporting that Jerry Monerville had failed to return to the prison. Overnight we carried out initial enquiries including liaising with other forces to check known addresses.
“We were not able to locate Monerville and therefore a media appeal was requested this morning.
“The safety of the public is our priority at all times and is our first consideration.”
However, Tim Passmore, the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said he would be taking up the issue with Chief Constable Douglas Paxton following a similar matter last year.
He said: “I was given an assurance by the Deputy Chief Constable last July that communications to the public in these situations would be reviewed. Clearly this is not working and that is completely unsatisfactory.
“I will now take this up with the Chief Constable again and seek a cast-iron guarantee that such public information is released without delay.
“My understanding is that the information was not released for 19 hours and this does not help maintain public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system.”
Police have said Monerville should not be approached and appealed for anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact them.
At Monerville’s sentencing in June 2011 Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that when the teenager asked why he had been slashed twice Monerville told him: “It’s cos you’re a ******* Paki”.
He had beaten the boy to the ground and pinned him down before slicing open his cheek.
Monerville and his accomplice Shane Doyle, 26, ambushed the teenager from behind as he sat alone in a Bethnal Green park, at around 11pm on November 21, 2010.
The boy was also punched in the face, kicked and butted, and had his mobile phone taken.
The two men attempted to flee but a passer-by who heard the boy’s screams and called the police. The pair were arrested in the park.
They pleaded guilty to robbery and causing grievous bodily harm, but claimed they were drunk at the time.
Doyle, from east London, was jailed for seven years.
Last July it took police nearly 20 hours to warn residents kidnapper Daniel Best was at large after leaving Hollesley Bay.
Best had been described by a judge as a “danger to society” after abducting his ex-girlfriend in Ipswich in 2007.
He failed to attend a roll call at Hollesley Bay at 7.50pm on July 5.
Police were notified at 8pm, but only put out an appeal to find 25-year-old Best just after 3.30pm the following day.
After a meeting with the chief and deputy constables, Mr Passmore said: “The Constabulary accepts that the information could have been released at an earlier stage – and, as a result, we will be reviewing our processes.”
Deputy Chief Constable Paul Marshall said: “”In this particular case, an assessment carried out after liaising with the prison service concluded that the risk to the public from Daniel Best is low. At the same time, there were a number of sensitive inquiries which needed to be carried out as a priority.”
Best was subsequently recaptured.
In October 2011 police also came under fire after failing to warn the public that three violent criminals had escaped from a secure hospital in Suffolk.
MP Central Suffolk Dan Poulter demanded answers after it took officers 11 hours to notify the media and public the trio had escaped from St John’s House in Lion Road, Palgrave, near Diss.
The trio – Luke Sparks, 21, Ross Beeby, 22, and 21-year-old Jason Williams - were all recaptured.