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Sudbury prisoner on the run given 30 months

By Uttoxeter Advertiser  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

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A MURDERER who brutally beat a teenager to death has been jailed for an extra 30 months – nine years after walking out of an open prison near Uttoxeter.

Hell's Angel David Richards absconded from HMP Sudbury on May 17, 2005, and even claimed benefits while on the run before he was re-arrested at a rented property in Wolverhampton, shortly after moving into the flat.

The 53-year-old was jailed for life in 1984 with his then girlfriend for the horrific murder of 16-year-old Michael Groves at their West London flat. The couple launched a drug-fuelled frenzied attack on the teenager with a knife, hammer and wrench, leaving him with 56 injuries.

They then wrote 'Hell's Angels' on the wall in the victim's blood.

Richards was sentenced to at least 16 years in prison but was deemed so dangerous he was still behind bars 21 years later.

However, just months before he was due to be released he walked out of Sudbury Prison and fled the country.

Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Richards ran away to Ireland and just weeks later was sentenced to three months for robbery, without anyone realising he had been on the run from a prison in England.

Following his release from jail in Ireland, he made his way back to the UK and headed for Wolverhampton, where his parents lived.

Tariq Shakoor, prosecuting, said: "He must have been deemed to be a dangerous offender because he was not subject to release until the parole process deemed it safe to do so. Sudbury is a category D prison and he simply walked out."

Simon Hanns, defending, said: "Frustration over the fact he was still in prison five years after completing the minimum term of 16 years imposed for the murder led him to make the foolish decision to walk out."

Richards admitted escaping from custody and was given a further two-and-a-half-year sentence by Judge Philip Parker.

The judge told him: "Any escape is serious and if the person concerned is serving a life sentence it creates alarm and fear among the general public.

"As a result of your escape, you are now back in a more secure prison and the prospects of your release have been severely jeopardised.

"The sentence I have passed merely marks the offence you committed and does not indicate when it would be safe to release you.

"That is a matter for the parole board."

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