Manhunt launched for prisoner after violent inmate goes missing during role call

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A manhunt is underway in Suffolk after a prison roll call revealed an inmate had escaped.

John Biddle, 22, was reported missing from HMP Hollesley Bay at about 12:20pm today.

Police are now appealing to the public for help in tracking down the convicted burglar.

Biddle is currently serving a seven-year and two-month sentence for burglary, possession of an offensive weapon, theft and driving with no insurance offences.

Prison staff were alerted to his disappearance when a roll call was carried out at the prison on Thursday, and they realised Biddle was nowhere to be found.

They raised the alarm and now a search is underway.

Biddle is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build and with blond hair and brown eyes. Anyone who believes they have seen him, or have any information about his whereabouts, is urged to call Suffolk Police.

A police spokesperson said: "Police are appealing for help to trace a prisoner who has absconded from Hollesley Bay.

"Anyone who believes they have seen John Biddle, or who has any information on his whereabouts, is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting CAD reference 221 of today, 12 August 2020."

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Last month another inmate who had escaped HMP Hollesley Bay was finally caught after six months on the run.

James McDonagh, 26, was serving a sentence of four years and seven months for aggravated burglary. His absence was also revealed during a prison roll call on January 4.

He was arrested by police after being located in Staffordshire.

McDonagh was charged with escaping lawful custody and on July 31 he was remanded into custody at North Staffordshire magistrates' court.

Hollesley Bay has been criticised as having lax security and chronic understaffing problems, causing some locals to dub the prison "Holiday Bay".

In the last decade, more than 100 inmates have absconded from the prison, which is the equivalent of 10 prisoners escaping every year.

Daily Star Online has approached HMP Hollesley Bay for comment.

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