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The Mirror May 2015

May 30, 2015

Armed robber WALKS out of prison and into hiding in Spain – but we’ve tracked him down

Haroon Ahmed simply “walked out” of HMP Dovegate, Staffs, on Wednesday with a group of people who had been visiting him.


Dovegate Prison - Haroon Ahmed, who walked out of HMP Dovegate in Marchington, Staffordshire

Dovegate Prison: Haroon just walked out with visitors

An armed robber who escaped from prison earlier this week is hiding out in Spain.

Haroon Ahmed simply “walked out” of HMP Dovegate, Staffs, on Wednesday with a group of people who had been visiting him.

Now the Sunday Mirror has tracked him down to Marbella on the Costa del Sol.

Ahmed, 26, had been serving an indeterminate sentence since 2008 after being convicted of robbing a garage, armed with a knife.


STAFFORDSHIRE POLICE Haroon Ahmed walked out of prison and into hiding in Spain

But he told the Sunday Mirror it was “easy” to leave the high-security, privately-run jail – despite being on the prison’s “watch list”.

He said: “In my own mind I wanted to test out the security. I thought, I’ll give it a go – and walked out the door. That’s how easy it was. I just kept on walking.”

We have informed police of his ­whereabouts, and the information has been handed to investigating officers.


Spanish hideout: Haroon Ahmed has been tracked down to Marbella

Ahmed claims he’s worried for his safety if he returns to the UK, and alleges his family is being harassed because of his escape.

In Spain he has sought legal advice from Jason Coghlan, of JaCogLaw, who told us: “My first advice is always hand yourself in.

“But I also invite the governor to take some responsibility. I would invite him to step down over this.

“This young lad is in the process of being rehabilitated and they have failed in their duty of care to him.

“He was in custody because he is inherently dishonest, yet they have allowed him to walk out the front door. I want them and the governor to accept that failure.”

The escape came just hours before the publication of a report by the Government’s prisons watchdog which raised concerns about “very tight” staffing levels at Dovegate.

Inspectors said that on some occasions entire wings of the prison had been left unstaffed while inmates were out of their cells.

Dovegate is a Category B jail, designed to accommodate prisoners considered likely to attempt escape.

It currently holds more than 900 male inmates, most of whom have been convicted of serious violent offences.

Ahmed was convicted at Derby Crown Court of robbing a garage with an accomplice.

After threatening a cashier at knifepoint, the pair made off with £500 in cash and goods, but were arrested.

Officers involved in the search for Ahmed this week arrested his brother Majeed, 25, from Derby, and charged him with assisting a prisoner in escaping from jail.

He has been released on bail to appear before magistrates in Burton on June 25.

Michael Guy, director at Dovegate, said: “We are taking this extremely seriously and I have commissioned an investigation into the circumstances of the escape.

“We are working closely with the police to identify what went wrong and to address any failings.”

Phil Cardy – Article from The Mirror, 30 May, 2015