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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 February 2006, 15:52 GMT
Prison break robber spared jail
Castle Huntly
The court heard security at Castle Huntly was poor
A prisoner who broke out of jail and robbed a nearby house before returning to his cell has been given 300 hours community service.

Alan Wright absconded from Castle Huntly prison, near Dundee, in August 2002 so he could pay off drug debts.

Wright, 40, from Glasgow, stole thousands of pounds from a house before fleeing in the owner's car.

Detectives matched Wright's DNA to swabs taken from the car after he had broken back into jail.

Wright had been serving a 27-month sentence for theft offences at the time of his escape.

His DNA was discovered on the steering wheel of the car and police later found the items he had stolen stashed in a nearby garden.

It's not certain how he left, but the suspicion is that he left and returned by a window
Hannah Kennedy
Fiscal depute

Perth Sheriff Court heard how Wright took advantage of poor security at Castle Huntly prison to launch his raid.

He had been reported missing during a head count but was later found in his cell, having gone back in through the same window in the belief he had the perfect alibi.

Wright of Knightswood, Glasgow, admitted absconding from the jail on 6 August 2002, and breaking into Graeme Pollock's home in Paterson Place, Longforgan, and stealing a number of items.

Wright admitted stealing Mr Pollock's car from outside his home after picking up the keys during the break-in.

He also admitted stealing a handbag, a purse, 35 brass ornaments, alcohol, a mobile phone and charger, documents and cards, 60 in cash, a jacket, a hat, overalls, sunglasses and keys.

Drugs lecturer

Fiscal depute Hannah Kennedy said: "The accused escaped from Castle Huntly, where he was an inmate at the time.

"He left the premises and committed the crimes. It's not certain how he left, but the suspicion is that he left and returned by a window."

Wright had formerly been involved with the Calton Athletic group in Glasgow and had become a keen marathon runner.

He also lectured in school drug misuse.

DNA foils thief's 'perfect alibi'
12 Oct 05 |  Scotland

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