THE mother and uncle of a Gwent prisoner received suspended prison sentences after they admitted helping him to abscond from the open prison where he was being held.
Leighton Williams 25, of Lewis Drive, Caerphilly, was remanded back in custody after he admitted going on the run for 40 hours from December 2, last year.
Newport Crown Court heard Williams, was given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum tariff of 30 months, for wounding with intent in June 2008.
Recently he had been serving his sentence at HMP Prescoed open prison in Usk and had previously enjoyed 22 home day visits and was working five days a week at a Cardiff call centre.
On December 2 he was collected by his mother Mandy Williams, 49, and uncle Glyn Griffiths, 51, and they spent the day together before returning him at around 5pm.
Williams was made to undertake an alcohol breath test, which revealed he had consumed alcohol that day – a breach of his licence conditions.
Prison guards told him his parole application, due to be considered in April would nowlikely be declined and minutes later he phoned his mum and uncle asking them to pick him up.
They returned and tried to reason with him, but he got in the car and refused to get out.
They trio drove to Caerphilly where Williams was dropped off on a roundabout on the outskirts of the town.
A prison roll call at 7.20pm revealed he was missing and his mum and uncle were arrested four hours later after guards listened to the recorded phone call he made to his mother.
Williams handed himself in at Ystrad Mynach police station on December 4 after hearing of his relatives’ arrest.
The court heard Williams, who has now been returned to secure custody at Cardiff Crown Court, was sorry for his actions.
He said Mandy Williams, also of Lewis Drive, Caerphilly, had been “foolish” and said she did try to make her son see sense, but eventually succumbed to his pleas because he was so upset.
Ieuan Bennett, for Griffiths, of Nantgarw Road, Caerphilly, said his client was easily led and was taken advantage of that day.
Leighton Williams was given a six-month prison sentence for the breach and told his opportunity for parole would be delayed for at least 18 months.
Mandy Williams and Griffiths were given 20-week sentences suspended for 12 months and were each ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid work. All three must pay a £80 victim surcharge.