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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 05:11 GMT
Hunt for murderers who absconded
Duncan MacNeil and Paul Michael Neale
More than 660 Sudbury inmates have absconded in 10 years
The hunt for two convicted murderers is continuing after they went on the run from an open prison in Derbyshire.

Duncan MacNeil, 41, and Paul Michael Neale, 50, were reported missing from Sudbury Open Prison on Wednesday.

Their disappearances bring the total number of prisoners to abscond from the jail to five, since last November.

MacNeil from London was jailed for life in 1982. Neale was sentenced to life imprisonment in Bristol in 1983 for a murder in Wiltshire.

On Sunday, Gary Smith, 41, from Liverpool, convicted of manslaughter in 2002, failed to return to the prison after temporary release.

'Great risk'

And last week the prison was in the spotlight over the disappearance of two other inmates - Jason Croft and Michael Nixon - in November.

Derbyshire Police initially refused to release pictures of Croft and Nixon, because they said there was "no policing purpose" for them to, as they believed the men are no longer in Derbyshire.

However, they did so immediately after the disappearances of MacNeil and Neale.

MacNeil is described as white, 5ft 8in (1.72m) tall with short brown hair and blue eyes.

Neale, whose last known address was in Wiltshire, is white, 5ft 10in (1.77m) and has short brown hair and brown eyes.

The disappearances have sparked a political row about the role open prisons play in the criminal justice system.

Re-offending 'reduced'

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "John Reid knew about the risk of absconds due to his policy of transferring dangerous offenders to open prisons. Now we see just how great that risk is."

The Lib Dems have describe the level of absconding as "unacceptable".

But a spokesperson from the Prison Service said open prisons, which house prisoners who have a small part of their sentence remaining, have successfully cut re-offending rates.

Prisoners are free to go in and out of the jails but must attend regular roll calls.

More than 660 inmates have gone missing from Sudbury in the past 10 years.

MP wants inquiry following recent prisoner escapes from Sudbury

Police hunt for two prisoners who have escaped from jail

Murderers abscond from open jail
10 Jan 07 |  Derbyshire
Killer absconds from open prison
09 Jan 07 |  Derbyshire
Criticism over prison absconders
06 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Prison absconder numbers unknown
06 Jan 07 |  UK Politics
Missing prisoner hands himself in
01 Dec 05 |  Derbyshire

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