An impatient murderer on the run after walking out of prison was re-captured after a drunken pal took him to a McDonald’s drive-thru.
Staff reported the drink driver and when police arrived rear seat passenger Thomas Parkinson fled but was caught hiding behind a wall.
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He has been returned to prison and today (Monday) was given a four month term after admitting absconding.
After 32-year-old Parkinson absconded from Kirkham open prison in April this year police issued warnings not to approach him describing him as potentially violent.
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He had been jailed in April 2007 after being convicted of murder having stabbed 23-year-old Shaun Higgins in the back after gatecrashing a house party in Preston.
He was given a minimum term of 12 years and had been transferred to Kirkham on September 5 last year.
Liverpool Crown Court heard today that prison officials discovered at 8.30 am on April 25 that he had absconded after apparently climbing out of a window.
Seventeen days later, shortly before 1 am on May 12 police were called to the McDonald’s takeway restaurant at Ocean Plaza, Southport, following a report of a customer drink driving while going through the drive-thru, said Nardeen Nemat, prosecuting.
“Officers attended and saw a black Ford Fiesta parked in a bay. As they approached a rear seat passenger exited and ran away. Officers pursued him and found him hiding behind a wall.
“He initially refused to provide his details and then did not provide correct details but was eventually identified as the defendant,” said Miss Nemat.
When interviewed he said he had left the prison on April 24 by walking out of a fire door and had since been sleeping in a tent at various locations on Merseyside.
“He said he walked out due to threats to him while in prison. He would not disclose who made them,” said Miss Nemat.
Parkinson, formerly of Acacia Road, Ribbleton, Preston, has 22 convictions for 35 offences. His earliest release date from his life sentence was August 14 last year.
Michael Bagley, defending, said that Parkinson, who appeared via video link from Walton prison, had been making good progress in prison and had been given a Category D ranking but since his escape has been re-categorised.
“He may have to start the process again and be interviewed by the Parole Board but hopes to regain his Category D status again soon.”
Mr Bagley said that “impatience” was to blame for the offence as he had been due for home release but it had not happened and he heard that his dad was losing weight and was not well.
“He simply lost patience. He did not tell his family that he had gone without authority.”
Imposing four months imprisonment Judge Stuart Driver, QC, said, “No one should take the message that you are going to be released after half the sentence because your release from the life sentence is some way off in the future.”