Prisoner failed to return to prison after ‘squatting too long’

An inmate who was granted a day’s release to work a shift at Screwfix has not returned to prison after squatting for too long.

Patrick Symes was said to have missed curfews as he needed “some head space” following a “disagreement”. The convicted thief then remained at large for approximately three days with a leg infection and was taken to hospital.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, that the 35-year-old is serving a nine-year sentence for conspiracy to commit theft, handed down in 2020, at HMP Thorn Cross in Warrington. Symes, of Henlow Avenue in Kirkby, was allowed to leave the Category D open prison on April 2 this year to go to work at a branch of Screwfix but did not return to prison that evening.

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Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, described how he was later circulated as wanted. Then, on April 5, his sister contacted the police and stated that her brother had visited her at home and intended to turn himself in “but injured his legs as a result of crouching for several hours while hiding by the police officers who were. looking for him”.

As a result, Symes was taken to hospital after apparently developing an infection, where he was visited by the PC on the afternoon of 6 April and arrested. He has a total of 19 previous convictions for 20 offences.

Paul Lewis, defending, told the court: “He made a mistake when he was at work. There was a little disagreement with someone.

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