Extra six months for escaped killer

Banbury Cake: Alan Giles absconded from an open part of HMP Hewell on October 28 Alan Giles absconded from an open part of HMP Hewell on October 28

A convicted child killer serving life in jail has been handed a further six-month sentence after escaping prison and going on the run.

Alan Giles, 56, absconded from an open part of HMP Hewell on October 28.

After a massive manhunt he was arrested by police in Alcester nine days later.

West Mercia Police said Giles admitted escaping from lawful custody and was sentenced today at Worcester Crown Court.

Giles, originally from the Oldbury area of the West Midlands, was given a 19-year tariff for the 1995 kidnap and murder of teenager Kevin Ricketts.

The 16-year-old's body was not found until 1998, after Giles asked to speak to detectives from West Midlands Police while serving his sentence.

Following his escape from HMP Hewell, a manhunt was launched with up to 50 officers working on the investigation at any time.

More than 100 potential sightings were received from members of the public, all of which were followed up, police said.

Officers closed in on Alcester after several sightings of the prisoner in that area on November 6.

He tried to run down an alley away from police but was arrested after two members of the Special Constabulary chased him.

Detective Inspector Stephen Tonks, of West Mercia Police, said: "During the nine days or so that Giles was missing there was a great deal of concern in the community, particularly in North Worcestershire where the prison is and in Warwickshire where most of the sightings were.

"We are extremely grateful to members of the public who rang in with sightings and for the hard work and commitment of the officers from West Mercia, Warwickshire and neighbouring forces.

"In particular, praise needs to go to the two officers who caught Giles and this case is an excellent example of the valued contribution that Specials make. An off-duty Police Community Support Officer who cycled in from home to join the search after a member of the public knocked on his door also deserves to be singled out for his dedication to duty."

Police said Giles, who had been living rough while on the run, would have been eligible for consideration for parole this year.

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