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Escaped murderer back behind bars

PUBLISHED: 07:57 12 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 March 2010

A MURDERER who escaped from Hollesley Bay Prison is back behind bars after being arrested by police in Amsterdam.

Irishman Lawrence Hughes, 28, absconded from Hollesley Bay Prison, near Woodbridge, in March.

A MURDERER who escaped from Hollesley Bay Prison is back behind bars after being arrested by police in Amsterdam.

Irishman Lawrence Hughes, 28, absconded from Hollesley Bay Prison, near Woodbridge, in March.

Suffolk police were informed by Interpol on Monday the killer had been detained by police in the Netherlands and negotiations were under way to apply for his extradition back to the UK.

Hughes' escape from the Hoxne unit of the open prison saw the launch of a huge police hunt. He had last been seen at about 6.50pm on March 9 and reported missing just over an hour later.

He was jailed for life in 1995 for murdering his girlfriend in a drug-crazed attack. Described in court as an unemployed labourer, he admitted the manslaughter of Aileen Gibson-Steele, but denied her murder.

The pair met at a rave in the East End of London, but their ill-fated love affair was doomed from the start, the Old Bailey heard.

When Miss Gibson-Steele, 25, the sister-in-law of Irish rugby international Peter Clohessy, tried to end the relationship, Hughes attempted suicide.

When she finally broke it off in June 1994, Hughes strangled her in her bedsit before slashing his own throat. Friends found her body 36 hours after the killing.

Hughes, of Tollington Park, Finsbury Park, north London, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of provocation and denied murder, but was convicted by a jury.

An investigation was launched by the Prison Service after a number of escapes from Hollesley Bay Prison.

In a space of eight months towards the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, 12 prisoners went on the run – including three murderers.

The process by which young offenders were sent to the prison was also reviewed.

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