Prisoner who fled from Ford ‘wanted to see family’

A convicted murderer who went on the run for two months after escaping from Ford Open Prison was just keen to see his family again.

Ford Prison
Ford Prison

Paul Flint, 48, walked out of the prison on July 1 and the alarm was raised when staff noticed he was missing after he failed to answer the afternoon roll call.

Flint, who had been moved to Ford in June, was arrested on Friday, September 6, in Wellington Road, Horsham, after a member of the public saw him in the town and called police.

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He pleaded guilty to escaping from custody today (Monday, September 30) at Hove Trial Centre and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.

Defending, Rod Hayler said Flint had been frustrated that counselling support he was promised at the prison had not begun.

“He became quite frustrated with the fact he was unable to contact his family,” he explained. “He made numerous requests using the proper methods for that to be dealt with. It is his view that he was quite depressed at that time. He was not thinking clearly, and he made the rather rash decision to walk out again. He did that to be able to see his family.”

Flint is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder in May 1990.

He previously walked out of Hollesley Bay Prison, an open prison in Suffolk, in June 2012.

While he was at large earlier this year, Flint slept rough until he was caught after police offered £1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

“He was waiting for the inevitable arrest,” added Mr Hayler. “When he was stopped by police officers, he was complacent and co-operative, and he effectively said that the game was up.”

Sentencing Flint, Judge Guy Anthony gave him credit for his guilty plea but added that, because Flint was already serving a life sentence, his sentence would not run consecutively.