Death threat prisoner’s second walk-out an ‘act of self-sabotage’
- Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY
An inmate with a history of making death threats has been returned to jail after walking away from an open prison for the second time.
Scott Chandler handed himself in at Woodbridge railway station about eight hours after leaving Hollesley Bay on Friday, May 8.
The 48-year-old, who walked out between roll calls while serving an indeterminate sentence, was handed another 16-week term after admitting escaping from custody at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday.
Prosecutor Adam Norris said Chandler was jailed for a minimum two years in February 2008 – consecutive to a previous four-year sentence passed in 2006.
He said Chandler had a record of 74 offences and was jailed for the first time in 1992, aged 20.
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In 1996, he was handed three years for a bomb hoax and spent further spells in jail for threatening to kill people in the criminal justice system following court appearances.
Mr Norris said a previous walk-out appeared to have been dealt with internally in 2003.
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He described Chandler’s recent disappearance as “an act of self-sabotage” due to the inevitability of being returned to closed prison, adding: “The word institutionalised springs to mind.”
Craig Marchant, mitigating, said Chandler served eight years at Wayland prison before being moved back to Hollesley Bay, where he raised issues of mental health and PTSD, and had already gone through two bad experiences.
“Rather than going forward, it was like going back in time,” he added.
“He asked to be ‘shipped back’ to Wayland but was told that was not possible.
“Aware of the consequences – that being a return to closed conditions – he left.”
Mr Marchant asked Judge David Goodin to take into account Chandler’s relatively short disappearance, the fact he handed himself in, and his guilty plea.
Judge Goodin told Chandler: “It’s impossible, for those of us less institutionalised than you appear to be, to understand why you might have done this.
“The most obvious explanation seems to be that you wanted to get out of Hollesley Bay.
“That seems counterintuitive because you must have been due for consideration of the end of your sentence.
“It may be that you look at that with alarm and dismay – I don’t know.”