February 16, 2022 5.55 pm

Dangerous sex offender Paul Robson on the run for four days – the story so far

The search for North Sea Camp absconder continues

A convicted violent sex offender at HMP North Sea Camp near Boston absconded from the open prison and has now been on the run for four days, prompting public outrage and fear given the nature of his crimes.

Paul Robson, 56, was first reported missing from the category D open prison in Freiston in the early hours of Sunday, February 13.

Robson was moved into North Sea Camp on January 21, but was in there for less than a month before escaping, and a national manhunt is underway for the convicted sex offender.

North Sea Camp has what’s known as a ‘resettlement unit’ to help prisoners integrate slowly back into society following their sentence. | Photo: John Aron for The Lincolnite

He was serving a life sentence given to him in 2000 for attempted rape and indecent assault of a woman in Oxford, when he broke into the 23-year-old victim’s house via a cat flap, before tying her up, putting a pillow case over her head and sexual assaulting her at knife point.

Robson had only been released from prison on licence for three weeks before the terrifying attack, and during his sentencing at Oxford Crown Court, the judge called him a “menace to females” and said he should not be released until he poses no danger or is “enfeebled by age”.

Almost unbelievably, Robson was moved to the open prison after having five parole requests rejected, the last of which prompted a decision by the Parole Board to recommend his move into open conditions.

Read: How missing dangerous sex offender Paul Robson ended up in an open prison

Robson is far from the first person to abscond from HMP North Sea Camp, with the Ministry of Justice providing data that shows over 100 prisoners have escaped from there in the last decade. He is the second to do so in 2022 alone, with the first being recaptured soon after his evasion in January.

According to an inspector’s report following a scrutiny visit to the prison in April last year, 70% of prisoners were assessed as being high risk to others, while more than half were convicted of sex offences, much like Robson.

His absconding has become a national news story, with politicians and nearby residents alike criticising the decision to put Robson in an open prison in the first place, given his history of serious crime.

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.

MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman, whose constituency covers North Sea Camp, called it a “system failure” at the hands of the parole board, and said it is something that must be fixed “urgently”.

Mr Warman said: “We must make sure people that are sentenced serve the sentences handed to them. In the case of Paul Robson, the judge said he should not be released until he poses no danger or is ‘so enfeebled by age’, which is clearly not the case in either sense.”

Residents nearby have said they aren’t sure why Robson was allowed in an open prison. | Photo: John Aron for The Lincolnite

As well as this, The Lincolnite spoke to a couple of residents that live on the same street as the open prison, who both echoed the MP’s sentiments and agreed that Robson should be in a higher security prison.

Paul Robson has still not been found, and officers say he could be anywhere in the country at this point. Lincolnshire Police has released new images of Robson to aid their investigation, saying he is believed to be wearing a dark donkey jacket with a large collar.