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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Open prison absconder in custody
Barry Francis Bowyer
Barry Bowyer was serving a sentence for robbery
Police have arrested a convicted robber who absconded from Prescoed open prison on the day he was transferred to the Monmouthshire jail.

Barry Francis Bowyer, 32, walked out of the jail on Thursday evening. He is the ninth inmate to do so in the past three months.

Gwent Police said Bowyer was arrested in Newport at 2030 BST on Friday.

The Home Office said all prisoners that were sent to open prisons were "rigorously risk assessed".

Bowyer was convicted of robbery and assault at Northampton Crown Court in May 2004.

Usk Town Council said it had been told that the prisoner had walked out within hours of being sent to the prison on Thursday.

Sup John Burleigh said: "Bowyer is currently in police custody. Gwent Police took immediate action after being notified that the individual had absconded.

"The operational plan was activated with the aim of locating Bowyer and dedicated resources were put in place to locate him."

'High performing' prison

Earlier this week, prisons minister Gerry Sutcliffe agreed to meet Usk councillors to discuss concerns about inmates absconding from Prescoed.

Since July, nine prisoners have absconded from the Monmouthshire jail, including child rapists John Elms and Martin Aspinall, and murderer Lee Dewhurst.

Elms, Aspinall and Dewhurst were all found and returned to prison.

A Home Office spokesman said absconding rates from open prisons were falling.

Prescoed was also recognised earlier this year "as an exceptionally high-performing prison in the Prison Service's performance ratings", he said.

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