Inmate went on the run after being caught with banned phone equipment

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

An inmate fled from North Sea Camp open prison after he was caught with banned mobile phone equipment and was later found hiding in his ex girlfriend’s bathroom, Lincoln Crown Court was told today.

Robert Shaw, who was three months from his release after serving a 14 year sentence for an armed raid on a post office, was found with a mobile battery, a USB lead and headphones when staff carried out a spot check on prisoners at North Sea Camp Open Prison near Boston.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that within hours Shaw walked out of the jail and was discovered missing when a roll call of inmates was held on the morning of 15 June.

Shaw was on the run for three days before police searched his former girlfriend’s address in West Street, South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, on 18 June and found him hiding in the bathroom.

He said that prisoners are banned from possessing mobile phone equipment including the items found on Shaw.

Shaw, 37, originally from South Kirkby, admitted escaping from lawful custody between 14 and 17 June.

He was given an eight month jail sentence to run consecutively to the original sentence he is now continuing to serve at Lincoln Prison.

Alistair Munt, defending, said: “It is a bizarre case. He was so far into a long prison sentence and it was only three months before he was due to be released. He has an 18 year old daughter he was looking forward to seeing.

“At the time he was allowed out on day release. He was asked to bring these items back.

“There was pressure from other inmates to bring the stuff back into the jail and stupidly he succumbed to that pressure.

“He was told to go into Boston town centre to meet a friend of an inmate. He did and he was given these items. He had been a model prisoner until now. He is devastated by his behaviour.”

Judge Sean Morris dismissed the suggestion that other inmates pressured Shaw to bring the items in. The Judge told Shaw: “It is quite clear to me, looking at your record, that you are not some inadequate or weakling who could be easily bullied for whatever reason.”

The hearing was told that Shaw was serving a 14 year sentence imposed at Leeds Crown Court in September 2004 for attempted robbery of a post office and possession of a firearm while committing an offence.