Mum’s escaped prisoners case ‘should not have gone to court’

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A solicitor claimed a woman who harboured two escaped prisoners in her home should not have been taken to court because she assisted police in their recapture.

Megan Morris (38), now of Thames Road, Spalding, appeared in court on Thursday for sentence on knowingly harbouring North Sea Camp inmates Peter Chorlton and Anthony Simpkin at her old address in Brownlow Crescent, Pinchbeck, on January 19 and 20 last year.

She changed her plea from not guilty to guilty at a hearing in October.

The court heard Morris knew Chorlton and invited him in along with Simpkin when they turned up on her doorstep.

Solicitor Mike Alexander, mitigating, said: “She asks him (Chorlton) ‘what are you doing here?’ He says ‘I am on weekend release, can I come in?’

“At one point in the evening, they tell her ‘we are on the run’, they have escaped from prison.”

Mr Alexander said Morris had children in the house and tried to persuade the men to hand themselves in.

He told the court: “Two men are in her house with her children being present. What do we expect her to do – suddenly pick up the phone and say to the police ‘come and get them, they are here’?”

Mr Alexander said Morris spent three or four hours urging the men to hand themselves in.

The men left the house and as police arrived to arrest Morris, the pair reappeared and invited police to arrest them.

“As a result of what this lady said to these two men, they handed themselves in,” said Mr Alexander.

Morris was sentenced to a year’s conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs with a £15 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Tracey Ross said police visited Morris’s home after the two men went missing and she denied at that stage knowing anything about escaped prisoners.

Later Morris accepted “she lied to police when they first attended”. Miss Ross described Morris as “lightly convicted” although she had substantial offences for possession and supply of class A drugs in 2013.