Anger after 'serial escaper' flees jail

THE victim of a repeat fraudster last night criticised prison chiefs after it emerged a “serial escaper” had been released on leave - and then fled.

THE victim of a repeat fraudster last night criticised prison chiefs after it emerged a “serial escaper” had been released on leave - and then fled.

David Aves, from Bury St Edmunds, hit the headlines more than 10 years ago when he arranged for fake release forms to be faxed to him and walked out of Norwich Prison.

Earlier this year, the 50-year-old serial conman was jailed for two years for a £28,000 scam involving registration plates. The scam, which involved coaxing a buyer into parting with thousands of pounds for five registration plates, only one of which was registered with the DVLA, was perpetrated while Aves was on day release from Hollesley Bay working in an Oxfam shop in Ipswich.

But earlier this week, it emerged Aves had once again fled custody, again from Hollesley Bay, after being allowed temporary leave from the Category D Woodbridge jail to stay with a relative.

His most recent victim, who asked not to be named, last night told the EADT he could not believe the prison service had once again given Aves leave from prison.

He said: “I don't know how he keeps getting away with it. It is an absolute joke. It is very strange that they keep letting him out on release - in fact, it is amazing. He's a serial escaper.”

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A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice would not comment on the circumstances of his temporary release. He said: “All absconders are immediately reported to the police and absconders can be charged with a criminal offence - a number of prisoners who absconded and were caught have subsequently received additional custodial sentences."

Suffolk police is carrying out daily checks on locations Aves is known to have connections to in a bid to catch him.

In 1998, Aves was jailed for four and a half years for masterminding a £300,000 fraud from within a Suffolk jail. On that occasion he used a public telephone at Blundeston Prison to set up deals buying and selling mainly agricultural machinery and equipment.

When he was banned from using the prison phone he had mobile telephones smuggled in so he could carry on his business.

Before that he managed to escape from Norwich prison by arranging for forged release papers to be faxed to him and then used those papers to con his way out of jail.

The police spokeswoman told how, despite his history, Aves was given temporary leave home to stay with a relative near Bury St Edmunds earlier this month. He was meant to return last Friday at 3.30pm but did not appear.

The police spokeswoman confirmed the force was still searching for him. He is white, 6ft 4ins, with brown hair and blue eyes.

He has connections to the Bury St Edmunds area, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Anyone who may have seen him, or who may have information about where he is now, should call Suffolk Police on 01473 613500 or contact their nearest police station.