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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
Escaped murderer found in prison
HMP Castle Huntly
Moran vanished while out on license from Castle Huntly
Police spent two years hunting for an escaped murderer before finding him locked up in an English jail under an assumed name, a court has heard.

Joseph Moran went on the run after being allowed out of HMP Castle Huntly for Christmas. He was found two years later in a prison in Gloucester.

Moran had originally been jailed for killing a pensioner in her own home.

He was sentenced to a further 60 days in jail after admitting absconding from Castle Huntly, near Perth.

Perth Sheriff Court was told Moran, originally from Glasgow, had been allowed out for a festive visit by the prison authorities and had gone out drinking at Christmas 2004.

The prison authorities heard he had been consuming alcohol during his home visit and withdrew his licence, asking him to hand himself in to Barlinnie prison in Glasgow.

Jailed for life

But instead he simply disappeared to the Gloucester area and changed his name to avoid being re-arrested.

While he was on the run from his life sentence, Moran carried out a serious indecent assault and was jailed for three years in Gloucester.

As the police hunt for Moran continued, he spent several months in an English prison after being sent to prison under a pseudonym.

Defence solicitor Fred Blackie said: "He was apprehended in England on another matter and jailed. The authorities, having matched up his record, transferred him back to Scotland to finish the remainder of his sentence."

Moran murdered 86-year-old Annie Shankland in her Paisley home in June 1987 and was jailed for life at the High Court in Glasgow in July 1989.

The attack was described as a "brutal assault on a defenceless elderly person" and a 15-year punishment period was set by the judge.


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