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Paramedics foil escapee's bid for lift

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

A CHEEKY prisoner is back behind bars today, after walking out of Hollesley Bay prison - and then calling an ambulance for a lift into Ipswich.

But clued-up ambulance technicians kept the 25-year-old escapee talking for nearly 20 minutes until police got to the scene - and he did not even realise what they were up to.

A CHEEKY prisoner is back behind bars today, after walking out of Hollesley Bay prison - and then calling an ambulance for a lift into Ipswich.

But clued-up ambulance technicians kept the 25-year-old escapee talking for nearly 20 minutes until police got to the scene - and he did not even realise what they were up to.

One of the Saxmundham crew called to the scene said they first suspected the inmate's game when their supposed patient emerged from the shadows following his call at around 12.45am on Wednesday morning.

Ambulance control staff had received a call from a 25-year-old male in a phone box said to be experiencing chest pains.

But when the crew got there they realised things were not quite right.

The technician, who declined to be named said: "The control room said that he did not seem very ill, as you can tell over the phone if someone is ill. We had a fair inkling that something was up but just thought that it was someone gone to Hollesley who had missed their last bus home.

"I was just going to say that we were not a taxi service but he took us unawares when he just came out of the shadows."

The crew spoke to the man through the windows and kept the doors locked while they assessed the situation.

But the escapee just could not keep to the right story - one minute saying he had come to visit friends then when it was suggested he stayed with them he said that they had all just met there.

He then tried to say that he lived in Woodbridge but came up with the name of a road that the technician had never heard of - and he should know because he lives in the town too.

Suspecting that the man had indeed walked out of the prison, the crew tried to get a look at what he was wearing.

After making an excuse that they needed to turn the ambulance round they swept the headlights over him and sure enough he was wearing the prison uniform of grey jumper and jogging trousers.

Telling him they were just doing standard security checks because he had not phoned from a house, the crew then alerted the police who drew up alongside the surprised prisoner 20 minutes later, having turned off their blue lights.

The technician said: "He did eventually admit he was from Hollesley just before the police got there. He said that he was from the Category D prison which means he can go out if he wants to - but it does not actually work that way!"

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said the man had been taken into police custody and was now back in the prison system, probably in a closed prison.

n. What do you think of the prisoner's antics, and the idea of open prisons? Write to Your Letters at Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.


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