*Well, I suppose any excuse will do. If you absolutely must break out of jail, why not do so in an attempt to escape the constant sound of rap music.
That’s what Robert Stevens did.
Stevens, 58, told a court at his hearing he wanted to flee from the loud rap music being played “day and night” on his wing. He is a convicted robber who claims he was also fed up with inmates pestering him to buy drugs from younger cellmates inside HMP Leyhill minimum security prison in Gloucestershire.
Stevens, who was serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for robbery, escaped the category D jail by climbing over a security wall before walking several miles to the nearest town.
He spent 20 days of freedom in various towns in the south west before he was found visiting a Corals bookmakers in Bridport, Dorset, on March 29.
Stevens admitted to a charge of escape from HMP Leyhill and was given an extra 10 months to serve on top of his current sentence.
Jamie Porter, defending, said: “He was in a very noisy wing where rap music was being played day and night. He was also being constantly pestered to purchase drugs by younger cellmates. Stevens has apologized for his behavior. It was an impulsive act on his part. It is quite clear he does not wish to commit any more crime.”
He said his client was about to hand himself in when he was recognized and arrested.
In sentencing Stevens, Judge Roger Jarvis said the escape was “impulsive and opportunistic.”
He added: “The reason for your escape has been explained to me as your unhappiness at people who were with you in prison. I’m afraid that’s one of the prices people pay if they commit crimes and go to prison. Those who escape from prison have to be sentenced in a way that is a deterrent to other prisoners.”
Dorchester Crown Court heard that Stevens has 21 convictions for 45 offenses spanning four decades.
In 2012, he was sent to Leyhill prison for carrying out a string of commercial robberies, including one at a Corals bookmakers in Bath.