A convicted drug dealer who had been serving time in HMP Kirkham recently made headlines when he managed to escape the open prison and remain on the run for seven weeks. Terence Griffiths, who had been imprisoned for his involvement in a heroin and cocaine supply plot, spoke out about his reasons for fleeing, stating that he simply wanted to “free his mind.” Despite the seriousness of his offense, Griffiths saw his escape as an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth.
Fiona McNeill, speaking at Liverpool Crown Court, shed light on the conditions within the open prison system, explaining that inmates are allowed to freely move around and that the prison gates remain open during the day. It was during his work in the prison’s gardens that Griffiths seized the moment and walked out of the prison grounds undetected.
During his time on the run, Griffiths exhibited reckless behavior, driving his partner’s car despite being disqualified and without insurance. Witness accounts described him as driving aggressively and shouting at other drivers. Eventually, Merseyside Police were alerted, and Griffiths was apprehended the following day after attempting to flee on a bicycle.
It was revealed during the court proceedings that Griffiths had a long history of criminal convictions dating back to 2002. His criminal record included offenses such as criminal damage, burglary, theft, robbery, assault, harassment, and drug driving. However, his defense attorney, Bernice Campbell, argued that Griffiths suffered from psychosis and bipolar disorder. While he had been provided with medication for these conditions during his previous incarceration in HMP Altcourse, he was not given the same support upon his transfer to HMP Kirkham.
Campbell painted a grim picture of the open prison, describing it as chaotic, overpopulated, and filled with category C prisoners. According to Campbell, Griffiths struggled without the structure and support he had previously received, causing him to spiral out of control without his necessary medication. His decision to escape, in his own words, was an attempt to find some peace of mind.
Taking all factors into consideration, including Griffiths’ good behavior and remorse while in HMP Altcourse, Judge Katherine Pierpoint sentenced him to eight months imprisonment to be served consecutively to his current sentence. Additionally, he was banned from driving for 12 months.
This case sheds light on the challenges faced by both inmates and the prison system as a whole. It raises questions about the effectiveness of open prisons and the provision of mental health support for inmates. Hopefully, this incident will spark a conversation and lead to improvements in the system to ensure a fair and rehabilitative approach to those who have made mistakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What was Terence Griffiths convicted for?
A: Terence Griffiths was convicted for his involvement in a heroin and cocaine supply plot.
Q: How did Griffiths manage to escape?
A: Griffiths escaped while working in the prison’s gardens, taking advantage of the open conditions and walking out undetected.
Q: What happened during his time on the run?
A: Griffiths drove his partner’s car despite being disqualified and without insurance. He was eventually apprehended by the police after attempting to flee on a bicycle.
Q: What was the defense’s argument for Griffiths?
A: The defense argued that Griffiths suffered from psychosis and bipolar disorder, and his condition worsened without the proper medication and support in the open prison.
Q: How was Griffiths sentenced?
A: Judge Katherine Pierpoint sentenced Griffiths to eight months imprisonment to be served consecutively to his current sentence, along with a 12-month driving ban.