December 24, 2018 3.51 pm This story is over 33 months old

Prisoner on the run was found in caravan park

He walked out of an open prison

A prisoner on the run from an open jail was arrested after being found in a caravan on the Lincolnshire coast, a court heard.

David Appleton, who was serving a seven year sentence for burglaries in the south-east of England, walked out of Ford Open Prison in Sussex early in October.

Jonathan Dunn, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Appleton spent five weeks on the run before finally being tracked down in November.

Mr Dunn said “He was serving a sentence of considerable length for burglaries. He was at the open prison at Ford. On the morning of 9 October it was noticed he was not in his cell. Following further checks it was clear that he had absconded.

“He was located five weeks later at a caravan in Ingoldmells where he was with his partner. He was interviewed by police about the matter and remained silent.”

Appleton, 48, of no fixed address, admitted escaping from lawful custody on 9 October this year. He was given a six month jail sentence to run consecutively with the his sentence for burglary which he is continuing to serve.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Appleton had got into trouble with another inmate at Ford after borrowing an illicit mobile phone and then having it confiscated by a prison officer.

“As a result he owed a substantial amount of money to the person whose phone it was. He was slapped around the face and told he had to pay the money. He was told that somebody would cause him harm if he didn’t pay.

“He put in for a transfer but said that was because he had major family problems. He was in fear that he would be seriously injured and in the circumstances he walked out.

“He only had eight months of his sentence left at the time he walked out.”

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