Hollesley prison absconder Darren Hilling was jailed after Ipswich man was stabbed and tortured

Darren Hilling faces three charges after allegedly absconding from Hollesley Bay

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

Hollesley Bay absconder Darren Hilling was branded as “dangerous” when a judge sentenced him in 2011 after the stabbing and torturing of a man at his Ipswich home,

Darren Hilling after his arrest

Darren Hilling after his arrest - Credit: Contributed

The Prison Service has declined to explain why it placed Hilling in the open prison nearest to where he was involved in attack which happened in March 2010.

Hilling had been serving an indeterminate sentence for grievous bodily harm before being reported missing to police at 8.40am yesterday.

Further questions are being asked at Government level after Hilling became the third inmate to abscond from Hollesley Bay open prison in less than a month.

After the 26-year-old’s disappearance Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “I have contacted the prisons minister to express my concern about the third absconder in a month from Hollesley Bay.”


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Asked why Hilling was in Hollesley Bay, a Prison Service spokesman said: “We do not comment on individuals, but it is not unusual for prisoners to be located in establishments near to their home.”

The spokesman added risk assessments are made before prisoners are sent to open prisons.

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He added: “The risk assessments include both the risk of serious harm they may cause and their risk of abscond.”

Hilling and accomplice Ricky Mutton were told they must each serve a minimum of four years’ imprisonment after leaving Colin Woods tied up and bleeding, with a potato stuffed in his mouth.

At their sentencing in January 2011 Ipswich Crown Court court heard one of the masked pair shouted “go on, finish him off” when the other stabbed the 56-year-old at his flat in the town’s Bittern Close.

Sentencing Mutton, then 24 of Montgomery Road, Ipswich, and Hilling, of Wellington Street, Recorder Michael Pooles QC said: “It is through no contribution of these defendants that this man survived.

“These are dangerous men. There is a significant risk of serious harm from future offences likely to be committed by both these men, and the public is at risk of that. They have appalling records.”

The attack occurred at around 1.40am on March 25, 2010.

Mr Woods was hit over the head with a bottle of champagne. A knife was used to puncture a kidney and damage his ribs. He was also stabbed in the stomach.

Mr Woods was dragged to the bathroom and dumped in the shower where he had shampoo and soaps poured over his head.

His hands and feet had been tied with strips of towel, and a potato was pushed into his mouth. Mr Woods was also kicked in the testicles. He was then re-tied with twine which Hilling and Mutton fastened to a door handle and bathroom radiator.

Mr Woods spent six days in hospital following the attack.

Hilling and Mutton had also been accused of involvement in a robbery during which an Ipswich shop worker was shot in the face with a BB gun pellet.

They pleaded not guilty and the charge of conspiring to commit robbery at P&G Stores in Orford Street in March 2010 was left to lay on file.

Hilling is the third person to abscond from Hollesley since August 20. Alex Winsor, 30, who was serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for burglary and handling stolen goods, walked out on August 20. He was jailed for a further six months by Ipswich Crown Court on Friday.

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

Anyone with information about Hilling, who also had connections with Felixstowe, should telephone police on 101.

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