Violent Wigan prisoner serving life sentence escapes jail

A Wigan man who was jailed for life following a 17-day violent crime spree has escaped from prison.

Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 1:16 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd November 2018, 2:18 pm
Damien Long

Damien Long, of Ascroft Avenue in Beech Hill, was serving the life sentence at HMP Thorn Cross - a catgeory D "open" prison on the outskirts of Warrington.

The 32-year-old was jailed back in 2009 after pleading guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to six counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, one count of kidnap and two counts of aggravated burglary.

Between January 1 and January 17 2009; Long, who was told that he must serve eight years of the sentence, was involved in a string of crimes across Wigan, which included a carjacking, muggings and armed burglaries.

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Long's family are appealing for him to hand himself into the authorities.

A prison service spokesperson said: “Public protection is our priority so when an abscond takes place police are immediately notified and become responsible for locating the offender. “Those who abscond are returned to closed prisons where they may have to serve additional time behind bars. We investigate each incident thoroughly to see what lessons can be learned."

His partner-in-crime Daniel Morris, 23, of Oswald Street in Chorlton-cum-hardy also pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery, one count of kidnap and two counts of aggravated burglary.

The court heard how the pair used weapons during their crime spree, assaulted and tied up several victims and threw one man into the boot of a car.

Long was serving the latter part of his sentence at the minimum security prison.

Category D prisoners are trusted to serve their sentences with minimal supervision and are "reasonably trusted" not to try to escape.