London

Fugitive of 14 years sentenced for robbery

Thomas McDonagh Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Thomas McDonagh was found hiding under a pillow in the bedroom of an Amblecote Road property

A fugitive who was on the run for 14 years after being let out on licence from prison has been given a four-and-a-half year jail sentence.

Thomas McDonagh, of south-east London, went missing in 2000 after being released from HMP Hollesley Bay Colony.

Scotland Yard said he breached the terms and conditions of his licence but failed to return to prison. He was caught in March by Lewisham police.

At Woolwich Crown Court he pleaded guilty to robbery and common assault.

CS spray attacks

McDonagh, 34, also admitted handling stolen goods, burglary and assault with intent during the hearing on 8 August.

The Metropolitan Police said officers visited his home in Amblecote Road in Grove Park to make inquiries about a robbery, where McDonagh was found hiding under a pillow.

Police said they had been contacted by a victim who advertised himself as a "man and van" on Gumtree.

He arranged to meet McDonagh but once at their agreed meeting site, McDonagh assaulted the man with CS spray and stole the van, which was later found with different number plates.

A few days later, another victim rang police claiming he had also been assaulted with CS spray by a customer from Gumtree who had tried to steal his van.

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