A fraudster who had been given day release from Springfield prison in Bucks so he could see his girlfriend went on the run for nine months before police caught him in Watford.
Ali Hamza, 25, had been allowed out for the day on April 20 last year and was told to return to the open jail by 4pm – he instead went on the run and was finally caught when police officers spotted him driving a white BMW in St Albans Road, Watford on January 11.
Hamza, from Dollis Hill, London, had been jailed for years in June 2018 at Maidstone Crown Court. He had scammed 26 pensioners out of thousands of pounds.
Hamza appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, February 7 having pleaded guilty to being a prisoner at large, obstructing a constable, having no driving licence and no insurance.
“He had been given a prison mobile phone. He was called when he did not arrive back on a train. The calls went onto answer phone,” said prosecutor Charles Judge.
“The police parked close to BMW [once they had spotted Hamza]. He drove backwards and forwards in attempt to drive away.
“An officer opened the door and told the defendant to stop. He said he had a problem with the gear box. He said his left his ID at home and gave false details,” said the prosecutor.
The officer checked his details and arrested Hamza who told him: “Go f… yourself.”
Defending, Grahame James said Hamza had missed his return train to Bicester and had panicked. “He spent nine months saying to himself: ‘I have got to hand myself in.’”
He said he had returned to a higher category jail with fewer privileges and is not now eligible for release until January 20 next year.
Recorder David Bridge jailed him for a further 10 months saying “An offender like this undermines the public’s confidence in the system.”