November 2018

Prison absconder jailed for kidnap

A man has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he absconded from a prison and broke into a school in an attempt to kidnap a child.

John Harris, aged 36, originally from London, pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody, kidnap, and breach of a sexual offences prevention order.

He was handed the jail term at Bristol Crown Court today (Friday November 23) and sent back to a secure prison to serve his sentence. He was also given an additional four years extended licence bringing the total sentence to 11 years six months.

Harris is serving an imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence.

The charges relate to an incident on Tuesday October 16 when Harris left HMP Leyhill and trespassed on to the grounds of a school before grabbing and threatening to take a child.

Teachers took the child to safety and removed Harris from the building before they locked down the school while Harris continued to try windows and doors. Police were called and arrived a short time later to arrested Harris.

Harris was serving a sentence for a similar offence committed in a hospital in London.

November 2018

Sex offender admits walking out of prison and kidnapping child from school

A convicted sex offender serving time in an open prison has admitted walking out and kidnapping a child.

John Harris absconded from HMP Leyhill on October 16 and went on to kidnap a child from a school, Bristol Crown Court heard

The 36-year-old, of no fixed abode, appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court the next day where he was charged with escape from lawful custody, kidnapping, and breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

The order was imposed by Woolwich Crown Court back in September 2009 and prevented him from approaching children aged under the age of 16.

he charges relate to an incident which took place on the morning of October 16, in the Wotton-under-Edge area.

Sarah Regan, defending, asked for Harris to be sentenced immediately.

But Judge Jason Taylor QC said he wants to consider Harris’ dangerousness, and adjourned sentencing until November 23.

On that day Harris, who will receive credit for his guilty plea, will be brought to court from custody.

The judge told him: “I’m sorry you are not being sentenced today.

“You know that a custodial sentence is inevitable.”