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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 07:13 GMT 08:13 UK
Missing child rapists are found
Martin Aspinall (left) and John Elms
Aspinall (left) and Elms absconded from prison on Friday
Two convicted child rapists who absconded from an open prison have been found after two days on the run.

John Elms, 34, and Martin Aspinall, 46, who absconded from Prescoed open prison in Usk, Monmouthshire, on Friday.

The were spotted by a member of the public walking on the grass verge alongside a road.

Sex offenders are moved to Prescoed before the end of their term but police said the prison service told them the two had not been given a release date.

Aspinall and Elms had been moved to Prescoed as part of a rehabilitation scheme for sex offenders.

Local people and politicians are bitterly opposed to the programme, but the Home Office said those taking part would be deemed to be an acceptable low risk.

Elms was jailed in 1996 for raping a teenage girl and Aspinall was jailed in 1992 for raping a minor and kidnap.

The inmates left the prison between 1700 BST and 2000 BST on Friday.

Police said the men, who knew each other, were noticed missing at the same time.

A search was carried out by specialist search officers and police dogs on the ground, supported by the force helicopter, while detectives interviewed inmates.

Elms was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in March 1996 for raping a teenager at knifepoint. He previously served a four-year sentence for indecently assaulting a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Aspinall was jailed for life in December 1992 for raping a minor and kidnap.

Police had been running checks in Lancashire and Bolton, where he had connections.


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