Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Prisoner fails to return from leave

Police are hunting a 21-year-old prisoner who failed to return from Christmas home leave

Police are hunting a 21-year-old prisoner who failed to return from Christmas home leave.

Paul Maddison from Belfast was being held at Hydebank Young Offenders Centre and Prison in the south of the city.

The offender, who counts hijacking and criminal damage among his convictions, was due back at the facility on Tuesday.

The latest manhunt comes as authorities continue to search for two of three prisoners wrongfully released from custody in separate incidents last year.

Maddison was one of 53 prisoners granted temporary release over the festive period. All the others have returned as scheduled.

"A young offender from Hydebank Wood has not returned from Christmas Home Leave," a NI Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed.

The spokeswoman defended the temporary release programme.

"The Christmas Home Leave scheme has been operational for many years and has been largely successful," she added.

"It has helped underpin our policy of strengthening prisoners' links with their families, particularly over the festive season."

As well as the 53 granted temporary release, applications from 70 other prisoners were refused.

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