An escaped prisoner who has been on the run for nearly five years and had built a new life in the Netherlands has finally been brought back to justice.
Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday, April 26, how Michael Collinson, 32, had been sentenced in March 2010 for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and for inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for seven-and-half years.
Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said Collinson was only eight months away from being considered for release when he escaped from HM Prison Sudbury in June, 2012, and fled to the Netherlands.
However, Derbyshire police and the CPS secured a European arrest warrant after they became aware of his location and he was arrested by Dutch police in December, 2016, and escorted back to the UK and was arrested for escaping lawful custody.
Ms Allen said: “The defendant had been placed in a bedroom during the night but he had a key to the room and had walked out of the grounds.”
She added: “He was convicted for a common assault in the Netherlands and got a suspended sentence and he was arrested while living there and that was where he had been and he was brought back to the UK on December 2.”
Collinson, originally of Worthing, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to escaping HMP Sudbury while he had been in custody on a criminal charge after he fled on June 15, 2012.
Derbyshire police had placed Collinson on its most wanted list.
At the time of Collinson’s escape, the defendant only had eight months in custody to serve, according to defence counsel Naeem Valli, before he would have been considered for release.
But Mr Valli said Collinson had fled because of concerns relating to possible repercussions relating to a former co-accused and a previous conviction.
The court heard how Collinson started a new relationship in the Netherlands and he worked restoring cars and worked in cafes and even took out a mortgage.
Judge Nirmal Shant QC, the Recorder of Derby, told Collinson: “You were coming to the end of your sentence and were put in an open prison and were entrusted not to breach that trust.”
Judge Shant QC sentenced Collinson to nine months of custody which will be served consecutively to the existing sentence.