The Prisons Minister is to look into the risk assessments being used before prisoners are transferred to an open prison in Monmouthshire following questions in Westminster by local MP David Davies.

Mr Davies raised the case of convicted killer Christopher Woodward, who absconded from HMP Prescoed last month, in the House of Commons with Jeremy Wright MP.

Also known as Christopher Hunter, the 44-year-old was jailed in 2000 for murdering his partner at their home in Lincoln. He was found guilty of murder, a conviction later reduced to manslaughter by Appeal Court judges in London who gave him a life sentence.

Woodward is still missing and police enquiries are ongoing to locate him.

Last year, Mr Davies visited Prescoed Prison to discuss the high level of escapes with the governor after three men absconded, just six weeks after convicted murderer Brian Grady went on the run.

He said this latest case once again brought into question whether the risk assessments which allow prisoners to be moved to Prescoed were “suitably rigorous”.

“Local residents are quite rightly alarmed by the news that a potentially dangerous man remains at large,” said Mr Davies.

“Whilst there is an increased amount of effort being put into risk assessments, it is vitally important everyone is carefully assessed before being placed in the open prison. Indeed, the Prison Service should think very carefully about who goes in there.”

The Minister said he expected the risk assessments in all cases to be rigorous.

“I will, of course, look into (this case) and find out what has happened,” added Mr Wright.   

If anyone sees Woodward, they are advised not to approach him but to call police on 101 quoting log 68 17/01/14.

You can read a transcript of David’s Oral Justice Question by clicking HERE.

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