A Bristol student invited a homeless man into his house for a meal, not realising he was a violent, escaped convict.
Admi Headley, 34, who was serving a 10-year sentence for rape and robbery, absconded from HMP Leyhill in South Gloucestershire on 13 November, prompting a nationwide manhunt.
Tom Phillips, 22, a physics and philosophy student at the University of Bristol found Headley collapsed in an alley close to his home which he shared with friend and fellow student Aidan Byrne, 21.
Unaware he was a wanted man, the pair invited Headley into their home to recover. "He looked a bit rough and I paused and watched him to make sure he was OK. He was quite drunk and I invited him for water," Phillips explained.
Speaking to the student paper, Epigram, he added that Headley opened up to him, sharing the reality of his life in prison.
The students cooked a meal for the fugitive including soup, a chicken kiev, pasta and a chocolate muffin. After learning that he was a fan of rap music, they then stayed up with him listening to Drake, Jay Z and Snoop Dogg.
One hour into the conversation, Headley admitted he had absconded from the open prison and also revealed the crimes for which he had been incarcerated.
"Once he'd told me the conversation took a different turn; he cried and he spoke about drugs, corruption and the physicality of prison life," said Phillips.
"I asked him what he was in for and he said he'd been convicted of robbery and rape. I didn't feel frightened for a millisecond — he was very polite and very grateful for all that we had done," he told BBC News.
"I gave him my phone and told him to ring anyone he'd like, he rang his son, it was amazing to witness the moment."
The night of kindness prompted Headley to reconsider his actions and reflect on his crimes. He reportedly told the students: "I just want to enjoy this time that I'm out. It's so hard in prison, boys. So hard. This is the best night of my life."
"He then said he should hand himself in and we agreed, so we went to the police station," he said. The students walked Headley to a police station, where he turned himself in.
Phillips said that he had no regrets about reaching out to the convict. "We don't know what happened all those years ago and we didn't discuss it that night. Any crime of that nature is horrific, however all we could see was the person in front of us," Phillips explained to the Bristol Post.
"The person that I saw was someone who I felt needed food and water, and that is what we gave him. My friends say I'm gullible and it could have been a prank but it turned out to be a very moving experience," he said.
"Now that I've reflected, I would like to thank him because he trusted us and he was honest with us and he gave in a very short time a huge amount to us," he explained. " He gave his life story. That is no small thing."
Headley escaped from HMP Leyhill at approximately 4.45pm on Sunday 13 November, along with two other prisoners Wayne Maycock, 33, and Paul Bromwich, 54.
Police launched an urgent appeal warning the men were deemed " a risk to the public."
Maycock and Bromwich have also since been apprehended.