Killer of retired lecturer arrested in Preston after going on run from prison

Anthony Curry was arrested yesterday
Anthony Curry was arrested yesterday
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A killer who went on the run after absconding from prison has been arrested.

Anthony Curry, 43, was described by police as "a dangerous individual" after he left HMP Kirkham in Lancashire, between midday and 2pm on Wednesday.

He was arrested in the Preston area on Thursday after police launched an appeal to track him down.

Curry was jailed for 12 years at Preston Crown Court in July 2013 after admitting the manslaughter of retired lecturer Christopher Proctor, 88, whose body was recovered from his fire-ravaged bungalow.

He earlier ransacked the Blackburn home of the great-grandfather - whom he had befriended over time - with his girlfriend, and they stole his wallet and bank card.

Both went to a nearby cash machine to draw money out but they were thwarted because Mr Proctor had changed his pin number hours earlier.

Curry returned alone to the bungalow, where it is thought Mr Proctor suffered a cardiac arrest "out of fear and shock", the court heard.

The heroin addict then set about trying to destroy evidence of his wrongdoing by torching the property in Pleckgate in the early hours of November 10 2012.

Curry, formerly of Dyson Street, Blackburn, also pleaded guilty to arson, burglary and two attempted thefts.

Clare Randall, then aged 31, from Dewsbury, was jailed for two years and five months after she pleaded guilty to burglary and two attempted thefts.

Sentencing the pair, Mr Justice Macduff said that reading the victim impact statement from Mr Proctor's anguished daughter "makes me want to weep".

The judge said: "What a tragic case - this lovely old man, 88 years old, vulnerable, living alone, a retired lecturer, a degree from Cambridge, relatively well off and targeted by people like you. And not the first time you had targeted him.

"You say you are sorry. So you should be.

"I have read the impact statement from his daughter. I have read it three times now. It makes me want to weep."

Making an appeal to trace Curry on Thursday, Detective Sergeant Madeleine Park, of Blackpool Police, said: "He is clearly a dangerous individual."

Curry was described as white, 5ft 8in and stocky with brown hair. He has a tribal tattoo on his neck, a tattoo of a dot close to his left eye and tattoos on his arms featuring a dragon and rose.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "Public protection is our top priority. When an abscond takes place, police are immediately notified and are responsible for locating the offender.

"Those who do abscond are returned to much tougher, closed prisons where they will have to serve additional time."