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Helicopter in search after prisoner flees from hospital

By George Jackson

A PSNI officer told a court yesterday that the police helicopter was deployed on Thursday evening after a prisoner escaped while in Altnagelvin Hospital's accident and emergency department.

Nathan Canning, a 21-year-old old painter from Earhart Park, had been taken for treatment after he was arrested and detained in Strand Road station, Londonderry Magistrates Court heard.

The police officer said while in the hospital the defendant asked to go to the toilet, but managed to climb out through a narrow window.

He ran from the hospital grounds pursued by two police officers and the helicopter was deployed.

Canning was found an hour later hiding in the garden of a house on the Belt Road.

The police witness said the defendant, who has admitted escaping from lawful custody, had been released from prison early last month after serving an eight-month sentence for offences involving his former partner and her mother.

He said before his prison release the defendant had phoned his former partner and after his release he went to his former partner's home, in breach of court orders and also caused criminal damage to a window.

District Judge Barney McElholm said his former partner and her mother deserved the protection of the court.

"He is going to have to stop this", he said.

Bail was refused and Canning was remanded in custody until October 4.

Belfast Telegraph

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