Absconder made life for himself in Spain during six years on the run

Court news.
Court news.

An inmate who escaped from North Sea Camp built a new life for himself in Spain during six years on the run, a court heard.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that James Johnstone, a convicted robber , walked out of the open prison in September 2008.

Johnstone, who was serving a six and a half year jail term imposed at Kingston Upon Thames Crown Court for a series of robberies and attempted robberies, was later tracked down to the resort of Palma on the Spanish island of Majorca where he was detained last month under a European Arrest Warrant.

Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said that Johnstone was flown back to the UK and is now back in prison serving the three years and 11 months remaining from his original sentence.

Johnstone, 30, originally from the London area, admitted escaping from custody on 5 September 2008. He was given a 12 month jail sentence consecutive to the original prison term he is now back serving.

Christopher Geeson, defending, said Johnstone’s life has changed while he was on the run.

“He has made efforts to better himself. He has taken some very positive steps in his life.

“His girlfriend, who has been with him for four years, had a child this year.

“He really does seem to have turned the corner. He has been working. He has been helping run a business in Majorca.

“He has been making a living through work rather than crime. He was effectively on the road to being a lifetime serious criminal but he has effectively drawn back from that.”