Convicted murderer arrested after day release escape

Arnold Pickering

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

Arnold PickeringA convicted murderer has been arrested after failure to return the prison on day release.

Arnold Pickering, 44, who is serving a life sentence after wrongly stabbing a man to death on the suspicion of paedophile in 1991, went on the run for the third time after failing to return to HMP Kennet in Maghull, Merseyside, as he left the Category C jail at about 9.30am on Saturday.

Merseyside Police have told Pickering was picked up at an address in Oldham.

A second inmate Thomas Moffett, 51, from Blackburn, who is serving an open-ended sentence for a string of robberies in his home town in 2006, also failed to return on Saturday, has been arrested as well.

The event took place just two weeks after Michael Wheatley, dubbed the Skull Cracker, did not return to a Kent prison. However, he was also arrested after a search operation connected him to an armed robbery.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has called the incident as totally intolerable and said the Government would speed up a planned tightening of the rules around temporary licences.

Mr Graying has said: “If you look at what’s happened over the past 12 months, as I say we’ve got a system where most people treat it properly and appropriately and there are very few people who cause trouble.

“But the reality is we have had a number of serious incidents with people out on temporary licence. We are therefore tightening the rules, particularly where people have a history of violent offences.”

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