Student demands answers after child killer runs free in Kingston

5:00am Friday 11th January 2013

By Nazia Dewji

A woman who was manhandled by an escaped murderer as he fled from court has demanded answers after the security firm refused to say what went wrong.

The 23-year-old student was cycling home from work on June 18 when Richard Kwakye, a convicted child killer serving life, fled Kingston County Court where he had been for a family-related hearing.

He injured two security guards with a piece of wood with a screw fixed to the end before running into St James Road outside Kingston College and pushing her off her bike.

Kwakye was sentenced to an extra three years in prison in December for escaping lawful custody, two counts of actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon, in addition to the 35 years he was already serving.

Both Serco and the Ministry of Justice have refused to say how he escaped.

The Surbiton woman, who asked not to be named, said: “The whole point of giving someone 35 years is that they are in prison and cannot get out.

“I don’t understand why he was not wearing handcuffs – why on Earth was he outside? I have questions. I will be writing a complaint to the court. It has caused me stress.

“He was following me. He grabbed my arm one way and I pulled the other. I was shocked.

“He had a weapon. God knows what he could have done.”

The 29-year-old from Twickenham was jailed in July 2011, for the murder of Siariah Letang, a 19-month-old girl from Thornton Heath.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, an agency of the Ministry of Justice, said it was for security company Serco to comment.

Paul Rennie, head of custody services for Serco, said: “Following the incident we carried out a review of our prisoner escorting procedures and we are confident that they are completely safe and secure.”

Kingston councillor Barry O’Mahony said: “The people of Kingston deserve an explanation as to how this happened and why, and an assurance that it will not happen again.”

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