April 23 2014 Latest news:
, Crime correspondent
Thursday, February 13, 2014
A “violent and dangerous” man who was jailed for life for an armed robbery at a Norwich bookmakers is now on the run after he popped out for his lunch break from the charity shop where he was working and never returned, it has emerged.
Leslie Falconer Gall is being hunted by police after leaving the Sue Ryder shop in Manningtree High Street where he was employed on day release, but subsequently failed to return to Hollesley Bay, an open prison, near Woodbridge in Suffolk.
Gall had been in prison for 15 years after being described as a “violent and dangerous” man by Judge Paul Downes at his Norwich Crown Court sentencing in January 1999.
Gall held up a Ladbrokes bookmakers in the city where he dragged a woman over the counter and held a handgun to her head. He also robbed a newsagent’s at gunpoint.
The 53-year-old had previously been convicted of wounding with intent at Barnstaple, Devon, in 1991.
A spokeswoman for Sue Ryder said Gall had talked about applying for a job with the charity on his release from jail.
Before he worked at Sue Ryder in Manningtree, Gall had worked at the organisation’s Hadleigh branch.
Tracey Le Gallez, Sue Ryder Head of Volunteering Development & Engagement said: “We can confirm that Mr Gall Turned up for work at 8.45am on Tuesday, but concern was raised when he didn’t return from his lunch break.
“He worked normally that morning, including going out to the local supermarket at around 10am to buy milk and coffee.
“Mr Gall had been volunteering in the Manningtree shop since January 16 when he transferred from our Hadleigh shop. He was working very well during his time there and was looking forward to applying for a paid position, which had arisen.
“We are as shocked as everyone on his disappearance and are helping the police with their inquiries.
“For the past six years, Sue Ryder has successfully been running a Prisoner Volunteer Programme working with risk assessed prisoners who are eligible to work out in the community. This partnership with the prison service has helped raise vital funds from our shops to provide care, whilst also supporting the prisoners’ resettlement. “The experience gained by offenders adds to their chances of full time employment on release, which is a major element in reducing the rates of re-offending.
“Since we started in 2006, our Prisoner Volunteer Programme has provided us with 500,000 volunteering hours which has contributed to help us provide 16,000 people living with life-changing illnesses each year with the care and support they need.”
Anyone with information about Gall’s whereabouts should telephone police on 101 or dial 999.