Prison inmate walked out to see his family amid transfer fears

Court news.
Court news.

An inmate walked out of North Sea Camp open prison because he believed he was about to be moved back to a more secure jail.

On Wednesday Christopher Brown told Lincoln Crown Court he feared his family would be unable to visit him if he left the Freiston Shore open prison so he decided to visit them and explain his situation before handing himself in.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said Brown hitched a lift away from the jail and then caught a bus to Norwich where he visited his mother and father.

Later he walked into Norwich Police Station and gave himself up. He was free for just 15 hours.

Brown, 27, who was serving an indeterminate sentence imposed at Exeter Crown Court for arson, pleaded guilty to escaping from custody on April 7. He was given a three month jail sentence to run concurrently with his original sentence which he continues to serve.

Neil Sands, defending, said Brown was unhappy about having to share a cell with a sex offender but when he complained was told he was about to be moved back into a more secure prison.

He said Brown only received one visit from his family in the year before he arrived at North Sea Camp and feared this would again be the position if he went back to a higher category jail.

Mr Sands said: “He took it upon himself to leave the prison and travel to see his family. Essentially he wanted to say his goodbyes for another year then walk into Norwich Police Station and give himself up. That is what he did.”