Woman jailed for harbouring escaped prisoner

Debra Kerr Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Debra Kerr's actions were "completely irresponsible", according to police

A woman has been jailed for harbouring a "dangerous" convict who she helped abscond from an open prison.

Debra Kerr, 52, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, admitted collecting Tony Crowley from prison, where he was serving life for a series of armed robberies, and hiding him at her home.

They were found by armed police following a tip off.

She was sentenced to six months at Salisbury Crown Court. Crowley has been returned to custody.

Crowley, 35, was reported to have absconded from HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire on 21 May last year.

The court heard Kerr drove to the prison and took Crowley, who she knew through a mutual friend, to her home where she hid him.

Her behaviour raised concerns with people who knew her and they contacted the police.

On 31 May armed officers found the pair in her living room.

Det Sgt Rob Blake, of Wiltshire Police, said: "Kerr's actions were completely irresponsible and put herself and the public in Wiltshire at serious risk.

"Crowley was serving a life sentence for armed robberies and is a dangerous and prolific offender who had the potential to cause harm to our community.

"Kerr went out of her way to hide Crowley and assist him in his attempts to escape prison and evade police, and I am pleased that we have been able to put her before the courts and they have imprisoned her for her dangerous criminal behaviour."

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