Ninth Hollesley prisoner to abscond in six months had been at open jail for two weeks

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has told of his exasperation after a third Hollesley Bay prisoner went on the run in two weeks.

Hollesley Bay absconder Anthony Lee

Hollesley Bay absconder Anthony Lee - Credit: Archant

Burglar and dangerous driver Anthony Lee is understood to have only been at the open prison since January 13 after having been sentenced to a year’s custody three weeks earlier.

PCC Tim Passmore said: “I have lost count of how many times the EADT has asked me to comment on absconders from Hollesley Bay since I became PCC in 2012. It’s truly exasperating.

“It beggars belief that in just three weeks Suffolk Constabulary have been involved in three appeals for help in tracing a prisoner who has absconded from Hollesley.”

Lee is also the ninth prisoner to abscond from the open jail in the past six months.


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Mr Passmore is due to meet Hollesley Bay governor Declan Moore next week to discuss the situation.

Lee was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for dangerous driving and theft on December 23 by St Albans Crown Court.

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This brought his total sentence to 19 months and two week’s custody as it was added to a previous sentence.

The 19-year-old, of Hemel Hempstead, was originally given a seven-and-a-half month jail term for burglary at St Albans Crown Court on October 20 last year.

He and another man stole items from a house in St Albans Hill, including a 50” TV, Samsung tablet computer and a handbag, 10 months earlier.

While on bail Lee drove at speeds in excess of 100mph on the A1 while being pursued by police on April 9.

At one point the teenager was travelling at more than 100mph in a 50mph limit.

It ended when Lee’s Mondeo spun out of and hit a roundabout causing the vehicle considerable damage. He jumped over the safety barrier over the M25 to try to escape but was eventually caught by police.

Lee was also convicted of two thefts of number plates and two further thefts of petrol.

Six other Hollesley Bay prisoners fled the open jail between August and December last year.

Martin McDonagh, 30, who was serving a nine-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, is still on the run after police were told on December 6 that he had absconded.

Luke Wall, 21, who was serving a seven-year sentence for aggravated burglary escaped on October 13.

He was recaptured in December.

Ipswich man Darren Hilling, who was serving in indeterminate sentence for grievous bodily harm, went missing from Hollesley on September 14.

On September 9 convicted arsonist Liam Bourne-Hill was found after asking the way back to the prison which he had left the same day.

Less than three weeks earlier Alex Winsor, 30, and serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for burglary and handling stolen goods, walked out on August 20

Winsor and Hilling have since been returned to custody.

Arsonist Carl Robbins, 40, went missing from the prison on July 19, but handed himself in later that month.

Asked about Lee’s case and the risk assessments of all the absconders before being sent to Hollesley Bay a Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Absconds from open prisons have fallen to a record low but we take each one extremely seriously.

“Those who do abscond are returned to closed conditions when they are caught and can be given additional time behind bars. A prisoner who absconded from HMP Hollesley Bay last year was given a nine month sentence for the offence.”

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