How many more? '˜Dangerous' and violent killer latest to go on run from Kirkham prison
Fresh calls for answers have today been made after a '˜dangerous' killer absconded from Kirkham Prison.
Police urged members of the public not to approach Anthony Curry after he made a bid for freedom on Wednesday.
While he was arrested in the Preston area yesterday, there are fears the category D open prison is being used to house prisoners who are a threat to the public.
Coun Peter Hardy, who represents Kirkham on Fylde Council, said: “This is a low category prison which we are always told is for non-violent offenders.
“To get somebody like this being held at Kirkham is a concern and for them to abscond is not acceptable.
“People are worried and rightly so but what can we do about it?
“I’m not sure the security arrangements in place are working but all we can do is put pressure on the Home Office – we must continue to do that.
Curry, formerly of Dyson Street, Blackburn, left the prison between noon and 2pm on Wednesday, police said.
He was sentenced in July 2013 to 12 years in prison for manslaughter, burglary, arson and attempted theft.
At his sentencing, Preston Crown Court heard Curry stole from a 88-year-old great-grandfather before slamming a door that caused him to go into cardiac arrest. He then torched the building to destroy the evidence.
The judge at his trial four years ago, Mrs Justice McDuff, told Curry the details of the case had ‘made him want to weep’.
He said: “This lovely old man, 88-years-old, vulnerable, living alone, a retired lecturer, a degree from Cambridge, relatively well off and targeted by people like you. And not the first time you had targeted him.
“You say you are sorry. So you should be.
“I have read the impact statement from his daughter.
“I have read it three times now.
“It makes me want to weep.”
Coun Elaine Silverwood said the number of prisoners absconding was a big concern.
She said: “It is a concern because people should be serving their time.
“However, Kirkham is a prison where people are sent in the last phase of their sentence, they should no longer be a risk.“I am concerned prisoners believe this is something it is OK to do.”
Ministry of Justice figures show 16 prisoners form across the north west have absconded from Kirkham in the 12 months to April, up from 12 the year before. A further five failed to return from temporary leave.
Since April police have appealed to help catch seven men – including four in one week last month – who absconded.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “Public protection is our top priority. When an abscond takes place, police are immediately notified and are responsible for locating the offender.
“Those who do abscond are returned to much tougher, closed prisons where they will have to serve additional time.”