Day release prisoner comes a cropper while attempting jail-break in a tractor

February 11, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

A prison inmate has been given an extra four months behind bars after fleeing jail – in a TRACTOR.

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Burglar Steven Clarke was coming to the end of his four-year prison sentence and was allowed out on day release to carry out community work.

But he disappeared while cutting grass and was spotted trundling along a country road in the tractor by an officer from Erlestoke Prison, Wilts.

He was chased by the police and arrested after ditching the tractor on the 13th green at North Wilts Golf Club in Bishops Cannings – more than ten miles from the prison.

Clarke, 53, pleaded guilty to taking the tractor without consent at Salisbury Crown Court and was sentenced to an extra four months in prison.

The incident happened at around 5pm on September 13 last year, just three months before Clarke was due to be released in December.

Marcus Tregilgas-Davey, defending, said his client was under pressure to bring drugs into the category D jail.

Charges of attempting to escape from lawful custody, aggravated vehicle taking and using the tractor with no insurance were dropped.

Judge Andrew Barnett imposed a four-month sentence for taking the tractor without consent to run concurrently.

The judge said: “I won’t say you made a bid for freedom but you made off, as it were, for a short period of time.

“You didn’t cause any damage to any property. Had you done so the sentence would have been longer.”

Photo courtesy of Odalaigh

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