The Crime of Escaping Lawful Custody

German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once wrote: “Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than evil.”

What he meant by this is that stupid people are more dangerous than evil ones, because while we can protest against or fight evil people, in contrast, against those stupid we are defenceless because any attempt to reason falls on deaf ears.

But what happens when the person is both evil and stupid?

Such is the case of a prisoner in the United Kingdom serving a lengthy sentence behind bars who decided he would escape jail and then get in touch with his local newspaper to tell them that he had done so because prison was driving him “insane”.

*Cue: face palm*

The incident took place on Sunday 15 May 2022 when Greggor Grey, 42, escaped from HMP Sudbury in the county of Derbyshire.

Once free from the confines of his cell, which had become his home for the last 17 years, Mr Grey, from Birmingham, contacted his local newspaper and confessed to them why he absconded.

“We’re in prison for the last 17 years,” Mr Grey complained to BirminghamLive.

“It’s driving me insane.”

Then, in a move that can only be described as perplexing, the highly emotional man promised to eventually give himself up and return to the facility ahead of his next parole hearing on 14 June.

“I thought about just giving them the raw uncut emotion that I deal with on a daily basis,” the fugitive said to the media outlet of his call.

It is understood Mr Grey did not reveal his whereabouts during the verbal exchange.

Why Fugitive Ended up in Jail For 17 Years…

It is understood Mr Grey was imprisoned for armed robbery.

It is reported he has served 17 years, and while his initial sentence was just three years, he remained in jail because he is the subject of a controversial Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP).

Offenders on the controversial IPP sentences are given a minimum term they must serve before being able to apply to the parole board.

Nevertheless, the contentious scheme was scrapped back in 2012, with former Supreme Court Justice Lord Brown labelling them as “the single greatest stain” on the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately for Mr Grey, however, the sentences were not abandoned retrospectively, so anyone jailed on IPP sentences prior to 2012 are still subject to their terms and must apply to the parole board after serving their minimum term.

Since Mr Grey’s escape, police have launched a hunt for the man.

They believe he could be hiding out in Leicester or Birmingham, and have advised the public not to approach him if they see him.

“We are appealing for information after a convict absconded from HMP Sudbury – Greggor Grey left the open prison on Sunday 15 May,” Derbyshire Police said in a statement.

“The 42-year-old who is serving a life sentence for robbery is described as Black, 5ft 11ins tall and of stocky build.

“He is known to use the aliases of Moses Blake, McGreggor Gray and Marcus Osbourne and has links to the Leicester and Birmingham areas.

“Anyone who has seen him or knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact Derbyshire police quoting reference 688-150522.

“If you see Grey, please do not approach him, but contact police immediately.”

What the Law Says About Escaping Lawful Custody

Whether you’re in jail going insane, or secretly concocting a mastermind plan to somehow get out, like it or not, escaping lawful custody is a criminal offence.

In fact, simply trying to escape lawful custody is a criminal offence.

In NSW, pursuant to section 310D of the Crimes Act 1900, you can be guilty of an offence if you escape lawful custody or merely attempt to do so, while it is also unlawful to fail to return to lawful custody at the end of the period for which you have been released where you have been temporarily released.

For any such offence, the maximum penalty you can receive is 10 years in jail.

By Sahar Adatia.

About Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

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