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Fugitives who fled open prison recaptured after bragging in a pub

Back behind bars: Peter Johnson (left) and Vincent Israel

A PAIR of fugitives who fled from an open prison were caught after they were overheard bragging about their escape in a pub.

Convicted armed robber Vincent Israel, 31, and burglar Peter Johnson, 29, went straight for a pint after absconding from HMP Sudbury on September 9.

The pair drove 50 miles from the Category D prison in Derbyshire to the Stitching Pony in Kettering, Northamptonshire, where they were heard boasting of their escape.

A customer called police and officers attended the scene to take the dopey crooks back into custody later that evening.

Israel and Johnson, both of Corby, Northamptonshire, admitted charges of escaping from lawful custody on Wednesday.

Escape: HMP Sudbury PICTURES: SWNS

They were both jailed for a further four months after they appeared via video-link at Northampton crown court.

Sentencing, judge Rebecca Crane said: ‘Those in category D prisons are trusted prisoners. You breached that trust.’

The court heard Israel and Johnson were reported missing from the open jail after a roll call found they weren’t in their cells.

An immediate search of the area was carried out, but they pair had already scaled the perimeter fence, driven into another county and were enjoying a drink in the pub.

Prosecutor Neil Bannister said police received a report that Johnson was in the Horsemarket area of Kettering with another man just before 10pm.

Both men ran but Johnson, who was jailed for a total of 876 days for burglary last year, was detained and taken into custody, where he refused to be interviewed.

Police went to an address in Corby associated with Israel and found him hiding between two cars.

After his arrest Israel, who was serving a 46-month sentence for robbing a newsagents, was taken to hospital with significant bruising and injuries to his feet.

Liam Muir, defending both men in court, said the pair had started using drugs again in HMP Sudbury and that other prisoners had asked them to collect items.

He said: ‘They found themselves desperate to not be in that prison anymore. They knew that when they were arrested they would be taken to another prison.’