Convicted murderer Darren Jackson has been captured two days after walking out of an open prison where he was serving life for the brutal murder of a young mum in 1984. Jackson, 51, from Burnley, Lancashire, escaped from HMP Sudbury on Tuesday (13 September). This is the second time he had escaped from prison since being sent down in 1986.
Derbyshire Police had appealed for information after Jackson - six foot four, slim, with short hair and a tribal tattoo on his wrist - disappeared. He was apprehended by Staffordshire Police in the Moorlands area Thursday (15 September). In 1997 Jackson escaped from the medium-security Ranby Prison, Nottingham, before giving himself up three days later in Nelson.
The 29-year-old mum-of-three Gill Ellis was walking home after a Christmas party in December 1984 when she was mugged as she crossed a recreation ground. The robbers stole her handbag and left her unconscious. Jackson then launched his own ferocious assault, stamping on Ellis with such force her ribs were broken and her pancreas split. Jackson was jailed for life.
Ellis's brother Derek Peat slammed the authorities for allowing someone as dangerous as Jackson to be sent to an open prison. "What I can't understand is after the first time he escaped why they put them in a Category D prison which you can walk free from," Peat told Mail Online. "At the end of the day they should be thinking about the public. It's a cock-up in the government. They know he's escaped before, so why have they put him in an open prison?"
A Ministry of Justice Spokesperson said: "Public protection is our top priority. When an abscond takes place, police are immediately notified and are responsible for locating the offender. Those who do abscond are returned to much tougher, closed prisons where they will have to serve additional time."
In a statement Derbyshire Police said: "Convicted murderer Darren Jackson has been arrested. Jackson absconded from HMP Sudbury on Tuesday, September 13. The 51-year-old was arrested this afternoon (Thursday, September 15) on suspicion of escaping from lawful custody, in the Staffordshire Moorlands by Staffordshire Police and is currently in their custody."