UK: Homophobic murderer on the loose after escape from open prison
A man who committed murder outside a Birmingham pub in a brutal homophobic attack is evading police after an escape from HM Spring Hill, Buckinghamshire, on Sunday.
Darren Douglas, 46, is serving a life sentence for 1998 incident in which he called a man “queer” before stabbing him seven times in the heart, outside the Fox and Grapes pub in Digbeth, Birmingham.
Douglas’ apparent motivation stemmed from a conversation in the pub toilets, in which the victim, 38-year-old design engineer Stephen Mooney, had been joking with a friend about relative penis size.
Douglas, upon being asked the size of his own penis, interpreted the question as a sexual advance and, calling Mr Mooney “queer”, told him to step outside for a fight, during the course of which he pulled out and used a lock-knife.
Following Douglas’ conviction, the Home Secretary notified a minimum term of 14 years before consideration for early release, later mitigated by the six months Douglas had spent on remand before the conviction. This minimum term was reached in 2012.
On Sunday Douglas absconded from Spring Hill Prison along with 32-year-old Ricardo Dunn, who is serving a sentence for an assault which took place in Burnley, Lancashire, in 2009.
Chief Inspector Olly Wright said in a statement: “We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen these men in the area and can provide us with information about their movements.
“These men were both convicted for violent offences and I would advise anyone who sees them to not approach them and call police immediately.
“Both men have links with other areas so may have travelled out of the Thames Valley to those areas.
“I would like to remind people that it is a criminal offence to harbor these men and anyone caught doing so would be arrested.”