Nacton prisoner targeted by J Block gang members, court told

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 September 2019

Antonio Wells absconded from Hollesley Bay. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Antonio Wells absconded from Hollesley Bay. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY


Ipswich prisoner Antonio Wells fled prison after being targeted by J Block gang members who thought he was a member of arch enemies Neno, a court heard.

Wells, who is serving a 55 month sentence for robbery, was recaptured 12 hours after walking out of Hollesley Bay prison near Woodbridge.

After being recaptured he told police he had absconded because he had been assaulted by members of the J Block gang from the Jubilee Park area of Ipswich.

He came from the Nacton area of the town, home of the rival Neno gang, but he was not a member, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said when police arrested Wells they saw a number of injuries on him including a 20cm cut in his shin and a large lump.

"He told police he had been assaulted by some people in prison and had left the prison with the intention of getting caught and being sent to another prison," said Mr Duah.

Mr Duah said Wells had been present at a roll call at 6am on August 16 but by was missing by 8am.

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Police were notified and at 7.30pm Wells was located in a taxi heading towards Ipswich.

Officers turned on their car's blue lights and when the taxi stopped Wells tried to run off but was arrested.

Wells admitted escaping from Hollesley Bay - a Category D prison - and was given a two month prison sentence to run consecutively with his current sentence.

Neil Saunders, for Wells, said his client came from the IP3 Nacton area of Ipswich but had nothing to do with the Neno gang.

However, he said that "sadly" members of J Block had caused problems for him and he had asked to be transferred to another prison.

He had then effectively orchestrated his own transfer by absconding from Hollesley knowing he would be recaptured and sent to another prison.

He said Wells failed to respond to roll calls after allegedly walking away from the prison on August 16 and was on the run for 12 hours before being recaptured.

The court heard Wells was jailed at Ipswich Crown Court in September last year after admitting a number of crimes, including robbing staff at The Forge Kitchen, in Duke Street, Ipswich.

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