13:31 Monday 30 December 2013

Open prison receives fresh criticism over absconder record

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

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A VIOLENT criminal was ‘allowed to walk out’ of an open prison in South Derbyshire, a court heard.

Staff at Sudbury Prison only noticed Anthony Maguire was missing when they found his cell empty.

It comes as police are hunting the controversial prison’s latest escapee.

An appeal has been launched in a bid to trace 27-year-old Hirjot Janda who absconded on Boxing Day, less than two months into his 16-month sentence for burglary.

He is described as Asian, 6ft 2ins tall, of medium build, with short black hair and brown eyes.

Maguire, 25, from Coventry, had been serving an indeterminate sentence for wounding with intent.

Although the minimum he had to serve was 30 months, he was being housed in an open prison despite the fact he was not to be released until it was considered safe to do so.

He was jailed for three months, but Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said at Coventry Crown Court that the escape should not affect his release from his original sentence.

Sudbury Open Prison has been widely criticised and is currently under review.

Derbyshire Police Federation chief Mark Pickard previously said the prison had gained a reputation of ‘letting people just walk out’.

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