Warning to prisoners after 'violent' inmate is returned to Doncaster jail

Ricky-Lee Langford was arrested by police in Thurcroft, Rotherham overnight on January 9 after fleeing open prison, HMP Hatfield on December 30.
Ricky-Lee Langford was arrested by police in Thurcroft, Rotherham overnight on January 9 after fleeing open prison, HMP Hatfield on December 30.

A Doncaster MP is urging prisoners to think before they flee, after a ‘violent’ inmate who absconded from HMP Hatfield was finally put back behind bars after being on the run for 10 days.

Originally from Maltby, Ricky-Lee Langford was arrested by police in Thurcroft, Rotherham overnight on January 9 after fleeing open prison, HMP Hatfield on December 30.

Langford was serving a seven year sentence for two robberies carried out in 2011 when he went on the run; and while he was at large police warned members of the public not to approach him due to their belief he could attempt to evade arrest and become violent.

Don Valley MP Caroline Flint has branded the decision to abscond from an open prison ‘stupid’ and is urging other inmates at HMP Hatfield not to ruin their prospects by doing the same.

She said: “I have contacted the prison regarding this incident.

"It is regrettable and stupid for this inmate to have absconded, and I am glad to see this individual has been apprehended and returned to custody.

"Now caught, he will undoubtedly serve extra time behind bars in a closed prison as a result of his actions.

“Open prisons like HMP/YOI Hatfield play an important role in getting inmates ready for release as they near the end of a sentence, so it is stupid for an inmate to abscond.

“It has been six months since anyone absconded from Hatfield and I hope this does not lead to any further inmates ruining their prospects by taking similar action.”

While Langford was the first inmate to flee the prison in six months, Ms Flint had previously raised concerns with bosses at HMP Hatfield after 18 offenders, many of whom were serving sentences for serious crimes, walked out of the prison in 2015.

Despite this, HMP Hatfield was found to be a ‘good, safe prison’ when it was assessed by inspectors during a surprise inspection in August 2015.

In March last year two prisoners serving indeterminate life sentences fled the prison together.

Following a public appeal both inmates were returned to HMP over two weeks after absconding.