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Man accused of running from prison after ‘suspicious’ helicopter ride

Kent Police said two other men were arrested at Rochester Airport on suspicion of assisting a prisoner.

A man was arrested on suspicion of being on-the-run from prison after flying in a “suspicious” helicopter spotted over Rochester, police have said.

Jonathan Nicholls, 36, has been charged with being a temporarily released prisoner unlawfully at large between July 8, 2015, and Tuesday when he was arrested.

Kent Police said two other men were arrested at Rochester Airport on suspicion of assisting a prisoner, while Nicholls was apprehended nearby.

A force spokeswoman said Nicholls had been on the helicopter that officers were alerted to around 11.30am on Tuesday because of its “suspicious” and “unusual behaviour”.

Nicholls, of Hargate Road, Kirkby, Merseyside, will appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday accused of absconding from Kirkham open prison in Lancashire.

The two others arrested – a 55-year-old man from Liverpool and a 59-year-old Lancashire man – have been bailed while the investigation is ongoing, police added.

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