Dangerous, fleeing, sex offender who escaped after being transferred to an open prison, was denied parole five times.
Lincolnshire Police say Paul Robson, described as a “special threat to women and young children,” is serving a life sentence for attempted rape and indecent assault. The HMP North Sea camp near Boston was reported missing at about 1 p.m.
Labor said Justice Secretary Dominic Raab had “serious questions to answer” following the government’s decision to allow Robson into open prison following a parole board recommendation in February last year.
Police have urged people not to approach Robson, 56, who arrived in open jail on January 21 this year, as he could “cause real harm to anyone he meets.”
During the review of his fifth parole, Robson was denied release but was recommended to be transferred to a Category D open prison.
The Newcastle-born sex offender was jailed in Oxford Crown Court in 2000 after he broke into a woman’s home with a cat flap, tied her up, leaned on her head, and strangled her. He attacked her with a knife.
He was sentenced to at least nine years in prison, but has spent another 11 years in prison.
Robson was released from prison just three weeks before the attack and was on a license – a sentencing judge called him a “threat to women.”
The inmate who emerges from HMP North Sea Camp is described as a white man with a bald head, a long goat beard and a slender build.
Commenting on Robson’s case, a spokesman for the Parole Board said: “The Parole Board refused to release Paul Robson but recommended that he be transferred to an open prison after an oral hearing in February 2021.
“It was just a recommendation and the Secretary of State for Justice would consider whether a prisoner is fit for the open before making a final decision.
He could be anywhere in the country, and we really want to hear from the people so that we can take this man off our streets.
“We will only recommend open conditions if the parole board panel is satisfied that the risk to the public in open prisons has been significantly reduced.
“Opening the situation involves examining the prisoner’s readiness for any possible return to the community in the future. Prisoners who are transferred to the open may be returned to the closed if there is concern about their behavior.”
HMP North Sea Camp is a Category D men’s open prison with a large number of sex offenders and unspecified convicts, according to an inspector’s report after an inspection visit in April last year.
The report, published in June, found that 70 percent of detainees were classified as “high risk of harm to others” and that more than half had committed sexual offenses.
Andy Cox, the superintendent of detectives, said: “We’re still working hard to find Paul Robson, and we’re still working through a number of inquiries.
“It simply came to our notice then.
“Robson is a dangerous sex offender and while he poses a particular threat to women and young children, I believe he can do real harm to anyone.
“If you see Robson, please don’t go near him, and don’t try to catch him yourself. Call 999 right away.
After writing to Mr. Robb about Robson, Shadow Justice Secretary Steve Reid said: “Dominic Raab has serious questions to answer about why it was considered appropriate to keep such a dangerous criminal in an open prison where He may escape.
“The public will be deeply concerned that, once again, this high-tax, soft-crime conservative government has put the people at risk.”
The decision to move Robson to Open Conditions was made prior to Mr. Rob’s appointment as Justice Secretary, which came in September last year.
The Ministry of Justice said that last year’s escapes were at their second-lowest level since 1995, with 101 incidents.
He said that it was less than the peak of 1,301 in 2003-2004.
A spokesman said: “The number of prison breaks has more than halved since 2010 and is now extremely rare.
“Following a decision by the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Robb) last year, the Parole Board’s recommendations on open prison transfers will now be scrutinized. The Deputy Prime Minister will personally oversee decisions in high-risk cases.”
Following Robson’s capture, it is thought he will be returned to a closed prison and will not be eligible for parole for at least another two years.
Police have notified or confirmed Robson to call 999.