HMP Leyhill absconder in court 17 years after leaving

HMP Leyhill Image copyright Google
Image caption Robert Hennessey walked out of HMP Leyhill 17 years ago

A man has appeared in court almost two decades after walking out of an open prison in South Gloucestershire.

Robert Hennessey, 50, absconded from HMP Leyhill in 1998, while serving a life sentence for the manslaughter of his aunt in Plymouth in 1978.

He was found in Australia, deported and arrested when he landed at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday.

He is charged with evading lawful custody and has been remanded to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 19 February.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said Mr Hennessey "was arrested on unrelated offences in the Queensland area of Australia in 2013".

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