‘Dangerous’ Hackney murderer arrested in Kent

Pic: John Massey

Convicted murderer John Massey has been found in Kent after escaping from Pentonville prison on Wednesday evening.

Massey, 64, who was convicted for the 1975 Hackney murder, used a makeshift rope made from bed linen to escape the high security prison without being noticed by guards.

He was arrested by Scotland Yard at an address in Faversham, Kent, on Friday at around 5:15pm.

A 70-year-old man was taken into custody under suspicion of aiding and abetting an absconder, but has been released on bail pending further enquires.

Massey was into custody to a North London police station, but has now been returned to Pentonville.

Investigations are underway by the Ministry of Justice into how one of Britain’s longest severing prisoners managed to escape unnoticed.

Massey was convicted for murdering a bouncer outside a pub in Hackney nearly 40 years ago.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing Charlie Higgins, 36, with a sawn-off shotgun in a revenge attack after he and his friends were asked to leave the pub following a fight.

Massey has escaped from custody three times during his 37 years serving a life sentence.

He was released on parole in June 2007 after spending 18 months in an open prison in Derbyshire.

Under a curfew, he was then ordered to live in a bail hostel in Streatham, south London.

After a few months, Massey broke his curfew to visit his dying father.

Two-and-half years later, he was decategorised and sent to Ford open jail in west Susssex, from where he absconded.

Pentonville was built in 1842 and houses up to 1,250 category B and C prisoners but not the most serious category A offenders.

In 2009 a convicted arsonist escaped from the same jail by clinging to the underside of a security van.

Additional words by Stephanie Taite

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