MP angry over murderer's escape

CONCERNS have been raised over security at British borders after a convicted killer who evaded his guards during a shopping trip from a Suffolk prison was arrested in Spain.

CONCERNS have been raised over security at British borders after a convicted killer who evaded his guards during a shopping trip from a Suffolk prison was arrested in Spain.

Former market trader Mark Ryder, 35, a lifer at Highpoint jail at Stradishall, near Haverhill, was arrested in Malaga at the end of last week, bringing to a major manhunt by British police to an end. He is expected to be extradited to the UK after almost three months on the run.

Ryder had served 12 years of a 15-year sentence when he escaped during an escorted trip to the Grafton Centre in Cambridge on October 12. It was the second time Ryder had escaped from jail.

He was originally imprisoned for theft but a judge imposed a life sentence 13 years ago when Ryder shot dead a love rival after escaping from prison guards during a trip to Brighton.


You may also want to watch:


Richard Spring, West Suffolk MP, said it was “horrific” that Ryder was able to leave the country and said the episode showed the Home Office was in chaos.

“Not only did he abscond in the circumstances that he did which shows a terrible lack of judgement,” he said.

Most Read

“But the fact that a convicted murderer can leave the country shows the Home Office is in complete chaos.

“It is unbelievable and as soon as parliament resumes I will be seeking clarification of how it came about.”

Jeremy Farthing, whose St Edmundsbury Borough Council ward neighbours Highpoint, said: “Congratulations to Cambridgeshire police for tracking this individual down but notwithstanding that we need to be asking some very searching questions about not only the security of our prisons and people who have been sent there but also about our internal and international security.”

He added: “I find it incredible that prisoners are taken on shopping sprees in major cities.

“The failure here starts with the prisoners being allowed to go on trips, followed by the failure of the individuals charged with keeping an eye on their ward and then the failures that allowed this individual to escape from the country.”

Ryder now has 14 days to appeal against extradition proceedings.

Last month it was announced that one of the prison guards responsible for Ryder during the shopping trip would face disciplinary action.

Mr Spring welcomed the news but the politician demanded an overhaul of Home Office procedures after he revealed Prisons Minister Gerry Sutcliffe had admitted the “abscond” was poorly handled and the disciplinary action had been launched.

Det Ch Insp Dave Sargeant, of Cambridgeshire police, who led the multi-force investigation to track down the prisoner, said: “This investigation has seen us working with colleagues in the country and abroad. Thanks to a thorough police investigation and with the help of our colleagues in Spain we have been able to trace and arrest Mr Ryder.”

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “This matter is being dealt as part of an on going disciplinary action and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter