Life prisoner escaped to avoid breaking prison rules

A PRISONER who walked out of North Sea Camp open prison while serving a life sentence for robbery was today (Tuesday) jailed for three months.

50-year-old David Watts claimed he was forced to escape from the Category D jail, near Freiston, after coming under pressure from other inmates to break prison rules.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Watts fled from the prison on 9 September and was found in a field near Sibsey the following day with a bike which had been taken from outside a pub in Boston.

Watts had been missing from North Sea Camp for less than 24 hours and told police he had intended to hand himself in.

The court was told Watts had ten convictions for 32 previous offences. He was serving a life sentence passed at Kingston Crown Court in April 2002 for two robberies when he left North Sea Camp.

Michael Cranmer-Browm, mitigating, told the court Watts had unfortunately been faced with a problem which seemed to effect many life prisoners in open prisons.

Mr Cranmer-Brown said: “He was not willing to do something which would break the prison rules and instead he walked out of North Sea Camp.

“The long term effect will come when he goes before the parole board considering his release in the future.”

Watts, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of escaping from lawful custody between 8 and 11 September, this year.

Passing sentence, Judge Sean Morris said he had encountered similar problems with life inmates at North Sea Camp.

The three-month sentence will run alongside Watts’ life sentence.

Judge Morris told Watts: “The sentence is a token one of three months as you are a life prisoner.”