menace | 

Dangerous sex offender Paul Robson back behind bars after fleeing open prison

Robson (56) was given a life sentence in 2000 after he sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint
Paul Robson

Paul Robson

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A dangerous on-the-run sex offender who had been branded a "menace to females" has been recaptured after fleeing from an open prison.

Paul Robson, who is serving a life sentence for attempted rape and indecent assault, was arrested in Skegness by police following a public appeal.

He had been reported missing from HMP North Sea Camp in Boston, Lincolnshire, on Sunday.

East Area Commander Chief Superintendent Kate Anderson said: "We are pleased to report that we have arrested Paul Robson.

"We are grateful to members of the public for their help and support in sharing our appeals and we'd also like to give thanks to everyone who has called in with potential sightings of him.

"We'd also like to extend our thanks to partner agencies and our officers for working tirelessly to apprehend Robson."

Robson (56) was given a life sentence in 2000 after he sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint.

He was described by a judge as a "menace to females", having been in and out of prison for attacks against women and girls as young as eight before being given his life sentence.

At the time Robson went missing, Lincolnshire Police warned: "If you do see him, please do not try to approach him, or try to apprehend him yourself. He poses a real risk to the public."

Robson was denied parole five times before being moved to an open prison last month.

He was deemed suitable for the category D open prison after a hearing in February 2021, but was not transferred until 21 January this year.

Police had issued a detailed description of the 56-year-old and had urged anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 999 but not to approach him.

A report last year on HMP North Sea Camp said 70% of prisoners were "presenting a high risk of harm to others" and more than half were sex offenders.

Current justice secretary, Dominic Raab, hinted at a "root and branch" review of parole systems after child killer Colin Pitchfork had his sentence cut short and was moved to an open prison, before being released last year.

Within two months, he was back behind bars after probation staff raised concerns about his behaviour.

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