Alleged Hollesley absconder is charged with sending threatening text to woman

Darren Hilling faces three charges after allegedly absconding from Hollesley Bay

Darren Hilling faces three charges after allegedly absconding from Hollesley Bay - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich man who allegedly absconded from Hollesley Bay prison has been charged with sending a threatening text message to a woman.

Darren Hilling, formerly of Wellington Street, Ipswich, was reported as missing by the open prison at 8.40am on Monday.

The 26-year-old was jailed at a sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court in January 2011.

It is understood he had been in Hollesley Bay for several months after being transferred into open conditions.

Hilling was arrested in west Ipswich on suspicion of escaping lawful custody at around 9.15pm on Tuesday and taken to Martlesham police investigation centre for questioning.

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Natalie Doughty, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said Hilling has now been charged with three offences.

In addition to sending a letter or communication conveying a threatening message, he is accused of having a mobile phone inside a prison without authority. Hilling has also been charged with escaping from lawful custody.

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All the allegations are said to relate to September 14.

Hilling appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on the charges and his case was committed to Ipswich Crown Court.

His next appearance will be for a preliminary hearing on September 29.

Hilling was remanded into custody until then.

Hilling is the third person to have allegedly absconded from Hollesley Bay in just over three weeks.

Alex Winsor, 30, who was serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for burglary and handling stolen goods, walked out of the open jail on August 20.

He was imprisoned for a further six months by Ipswich Crown Court last Friday.

On Tuesday last week arsonist Liam Bourne-Hill was caught walking back to prison after being listed as an absconder on the same day.

Bourne-Hill has been charged with escaping from lawful custody and possessing a device prohibited for prisoners – a mobile phone.

He is due to appear before Ipswich Crown Court next Tuesday.

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