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Prisoner spent two hours on the run after giving officers the slip at Norfolk hospital, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:21 10 October 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

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A man convicted of killing another prisoner spent two hours on the run after giving prison officers the slip while being treated at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, a court has heard.

Shane Farrington has been jailed for 10 months after admitting escape from lawful custody on April 24 this year. Picture: HuntspostShane Farrington has been jailed for 10 months after admitting escape from lawful custody on April 24 this year. Picture: Huntspost

Shane Farrington, who was found guilty of manslaughter in 2009, ran across car parks, fields and Norwich City’s Colney training ground after fleeing from prison officers while he was being treated for a head injury at the hospital.

Farrington had been one of three men found guilty of killing fellow prisoner Brian Haynes, 33, who suffered a heart attack after being beaten in his cell at Peterborough Prison in September 2008.

Farrington was jailed for nine years for his part in the attack, but ordered to serve four-and-a-half.

But he was back before Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday (October 10) after admitting an offence of escaping from custody in April this year.

The court heard Farrington, who had been recalled to prison in connection with a burglary offence, had been an inmate at Wayland Prison when he was taken to hospital to be treated for a head injury.

But at the hospital the 35-year-old threw a chair at one of the prison officers before taking off on foot and hiding in a garden shed.

Significant police resources, including the police helicopter, a drone and dogs, were deployed to catch Farrington who was back in custody within a couple of hours.

Farrington was due to appear in person at Norwich Crown Court but failed to attend.

The court heard Farrington “didn’t want to come” and refused to leave his cell.

It was the second time Farrington had refused to attend for sentence and Judge David Goodin ordered the case proceeded in his absence.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Farrington was taken to hospital after suffering a cut to the back of his head.

Mr Ivory said Farrington received stitches to his wound at hospital before there “came a point the defendant identified an opportunity to make a break for it and that’s what he did”.

He said: “He was able to somehow slip the handcuffs off of his wrist and make good his escape.”

Mr Ivory said he “picked up a chair and threw it towards a prison officer” who tripped up before running across two car parks, City’s training ground and a farmers field.

Farrington got as far as Little Melton and hid in a shed in a garden but was picked up by police within a couple of hours.

Mr Ivory said “significant resources” were put into finding Farrington, including several units, a police helicopter, drone and dogs.

After he was found Farrington was taken back to HMP Wayland.

Farrington, of HMP Norwich, Knox Road in Norwich, previously admitted an offence of escaping from lawful custody on April 24 this year last month.

The court heard it was the second time Farrington had committed the offence following a previous conviction in 2008, when he also escaped while being treated at hospital.

Guy Wyatt, mitigating, said his client said the cuffs had been taken off him rather than him slipping them.

He said Farrington was “deeply, deeply unhappy and depressed” and suffered a head injury which was self inflicted as a result of his “anxiety and unhappiness”.

After being taken to hospital Mr Wyatt said the “opportunity to escape presented itself” and he went.

He said was a “spur of the moment” decision which he regrets.

Sentencing Farrington to 10 months in prison, Judge Goodin said the escape was “opportunistic” but conceded he had not been violent.

The judge did however recognise the police did have to mobilise “a great deal of resources” to locate him.

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