Addict who escaped custody is jailed after recapture

A DRUG addict who stole from a pensioner at a care home escaped police custody from Weston General Hospital through a toilet window, a court was told.

Paul Hammond, aged 39, admitted two charges of burglary and one of escape. He was sentenced to five years in prison on October 19 at Bristol Crown Court.

The court was was told that Hammond stole personal belongings, including a credit card and a diary, from 77-year-old Harry Whitehead on September 10.

Hammond was found in the early hours by the pensioner in his room at St Agnes care home in Neva Road, Weston, before he fled through a window.

He then used the credit card to take out money from a cash point.

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Three days later he also burgled a home in Moorland Road, taking valuable jewellery and other possessions.

He was found the same day by police near Clarence Park Baptist Church in Walliscote Road and was taken to the Juniper Ward of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust, based at Weston General Hospital.

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But on September 15 he managed to escape from Avon and Somerset police officers through a toilet window. He was caught soon after.

Hammond, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to five years in prison and a previous community order handed to him for an unrelated matter was revoked.

Most of the items were recovered by the police and returned to their owners.

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