Sharing is caring!Facebook0Twitter0Google+0Pinterest0 A brazen prisoner walked out of a notorious open prison to enjoy an overnight stay at a luxury h...
A brazen prisoner walked out of a notorious open prison to enjoy an overnight stay at a luxury hotel with his wife and even tricked management into giving him the executive room for free.
Douglas Ward, 26, dodged at least four roll calls at North Sea Camp Prison while he was living it up in the Grade II-listed boutique hotel with wife Eileen, 27, over the August bank holiday weekend.
A court heard the inmate – who was serving more than five years for firearms offences at the time – was only rumbled when suspicious hotel staff discovered his Facebook page listed his status as a ‘serving prisoner’.
By then, Ward had uploaded photographs of him and his wife drinking the contents of the mini-bar in their room at 15-bedroom Cley Hall Hotel, a Georgian property in the centre of Spalding, Lincolnshire.
The pictures prompted a friend to ask Ward if he had been released from jail, only for the prisoner to brag that he was just ‘out for the day’.
The court heard Ward’s wife checked in to the hotel using the name Ellen Thompson – a false first name with her maiden surname. She was described by the hotel manager as having an ‘orange complexion as if she used fake tan and what he took to be very large breast implants’
The couple persuaded management at the hotel to waive the £110 room rate after claiming Ward had to go to hospital when an antique chair collapsed as he sat at a desk, injuring his ankle.
Mrs Ward then negotiated a second free night after claiming her husband could not drive them back to their home town of Darlington, County Durham, because his ankle was too swollen.
But by then, staff had become suspicious of the couple after noticing Ward wearing ‘a simple crepe bandage on his leg that he thought was not of the type that would be given out by a hospital’.
‘The manager was a bit suspicious. He was concerned there may be some adverse comments on Facebook and made some inquiries.
‘He discovered some photographs had been uploaded on Facebook which showed the two of them consuming the contents of the mini-bar and noticed that the defendant’s Facebook profile showed he was living at HMP Strangeways.’
|North Sea Camp Prison.Open prisons provide the most effective means for prisoners ending their sentences to be tested in the community before release|
Ward was first sent to Strangeways after being jailed for 64 months at Bolton Crown Court in October 2011. He had been found in possession of firearms during a pre-arranged fight between travelling families in Middleton, Greater Manchester.
Ward, who’s Facebook page has since been deleted, was handed a concurrent 15-month sentence on Monday for absconding, alongside a £900 Criminal Courts Charge and a £100 victim surcharge.