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Jailbreak of Corsham man to escape perverts
6:00pm Friday 1st June 2012 in Corsham
A burglar was so sick and tired of living with paedophiles and drug dealers that he broke out of an open prison to ‘make a point’, a court has heard.
Lee Marc Fitchett, 29, of Longclose Avenue, Rudloe, escaped from HMP Leyhill because he felt “oppressed by the conversation of paedophiles and the prevalence of drugs”.
After dropping in on his girlfriend, he handed himself in to Swindon police station 48 hours later, so he could see out his sentence in a more secure jail.
Mr Justice Headley, sitting with Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Judge Anthony Russell, have now accepted he only absconded to ‘make a point’, and cut the eight-month consecutive sentence he was handed for the break-out to a ‘nominal’ 28 days.
Describing the case as “unusual, if not unique”, Mr Justice Headley said Fitchett had been serving a three-and-a-half sentence for burglary at Dartmoor prison, but was transferred to Leyhill ahead of his expected release.
But he was so shocked at the sick chatter of sex offenders – and the ubiquity of illegal drugs – that he applied to be moved back to the higher category jail, the court heard.
Sentencing him to serve an extra eight-month jail term on top of his original prison stretch, a judge at Swindon Crown Court branded his actions “foolish in the extreme” in February.
But lawyers for Fitchett appealed that sentence, claiming his escape was not a real prison break, as he never intended to swerve justice.