Convicted rapist who walked out of open prison spent three days at large

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A convicted rapist who spent three days at large after walking out of an open prison in Lincolnshire has been sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment.

Nicky Ward, originally from South Yorkshire, was circulated as missing by Lincolnshire Police after he left North Sea Camp open jail, near Boston, on May 24.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Ward, 36, was serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection after he was jailed for an attempted robbery in October 2005.

He was also convicted of rape four years earlier.

Lisa Hardy, mitigating, told the court Ward’s absence was reported to Lincolnshire Police after he was noticed missing from a roll call at 8.15pm.

He had been present during the previous check at 6pm.

Miss Hardy said: “He later made contact with the police himself from a phone booth on Anchor Lane in Ingoldmells.

“He had been at large for three days and was still in the phone booth when police arrived.”

When asked why he had escaped Ward replied: “It is what it is.”

Ward, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of escaping from custody on May 24 this year.

He appeared in court by video link from prison.

David Eager, defending, said the only mitigation for Ward was credit for his guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told Ward his sentence of 16 weeks imprisonment would have to run concurrently with his present indeterminate sentence for public protection.

The judge said: “You walked out of North Sea Camp and were at large for three days.

“You contacted the police yourself and told them where you were.”

In October 2001 Ward was jailed for six years after he was convicted of rape.

He was jailed indeterminately in October 2005 after he tried to hold up a Skegness off licence at knifepoint.

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