Homeless man re-jailed after admitting walking out of open prison

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

A former Northampton man who walked out of an open prison while he was serving a three-year sentence for robbery handed himself in at a police station three days later.

At Warwick Crown Court Craig Clyburne, aged 25, of no fixed address but formerly of St John Station Passage, Northampton, was jailed for two months after pleading guilty to escaping from lawful custody.

Clyburne had been jailed for three years in March at Luton Crown Court for robbing two 16-year-old Bedford College students of their mobile phones.

Prosecutor Charles Gardner said Clyburne ended up at Sudbury open prison in Derbyshire.

On November 9 there was a roll count at the prison at 8.30 in the evening ‘and he was found to be not in his room.’

Clyburne had simply walked out of the jail and made his way to Coventry where, three days later, he walked into Willenhall police station to give himself up.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed: “The real consequence is that the programme of pushing him towards the open door goes, and he is back in a closed custodial setting.”

Mark Nicholls, defending, explained: “It was the programme he could not cope with; it was the open door.

“He had been to see someone the day before and asked to be put in a closed prison because he couldn’t cope with that open door. That request was knocked back, and he walked out.”

Jailing Clyburne, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “The problem here is your psychological capacity to come to terms with whether you can cope with an open prison.

“I hope you can get some help with that, or you are going to keep staying in prison when you shouldn’t be there.

“It is obviously a serious thing to leave even an open prison, but to give yourself up later is very much mitigation.”

But he added that the reality of the two-month sentence was that it would not make any difference to the time Clyburne has to serve before he is released.