‘On 13 May 2020, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of R v Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland)  UKSC 19. The case, on appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland  NICA 8, concerned the challenge by Gerry Adams, former leader of Sinn Féin, to his convictions for attempted escape from the Maze Prison (also known as Long Kesh) in Belfast in the early 1970s. The issue in the case was whether the order pursuant to which Mr Adams was interned in the Maze was valid, given that it had been made by the Minister of State for Northern Ireland and had not been considered personally by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland himself. The Supreme Court held that it was not valid, that Mr Adams had therefore not been detained lawfully, and consequently, that he had been wrongly convicted of attempting to escape from lawful custody. The Supreme Court duly quashed Mr Adams’ convictions.’
UKSC Blog, 18th August 2020
‘The “absconder policy” in the Consolidated Interim Instructions of 11 August 2014, which precluded categories of prisoner from a transfer to open conditions save in exceptional circumstances, was incompatible with the Secretary of State’s directions to the Parole Board, issued in August 2004, which required phased release via open conditions to test whether a prisoner could be safely released into the community.’
WLR Daily, 1st April 2015
“The common law offence of escape from lawful custody did not cover those who escaped from detention or control before they were arrested.”
WLR Daily, 21st January 2011
Please note once a case has been reported in one of the ICLR series the corresponding WLR Daily summary is removed.
Prisoner failing to return is not an escaper
Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
“Where a prisoner who was on temporary release from prison failed to return to prison at the expiry of his release period, he could not be said to have escaped from custody and could not therefore be guilty of the common-law offence of escape from custody.”
The Times, 6th September 2007
Please note the Times Law Reports are only available free on Times Online for 21 days from the date of publication.
“Where a prisoner who was on temporary release from prison pursuant to r 9 of the Prison Rules 1999 failed to return to prison at the expiry of his release period, he could not be said to have escaped from custody and could not therefore be guilty of the common law offence of escape from custody.”
WLR Daily, 2nd August 2007
Please note: once a case has been fully reported in one of the ICLR series the corresponding WLR Daily summary is removed.