14/08/2008

Mental Hospital Patients Recaptured

Two psychiatric hospital patients have been recaptured, having escaped and been at large for for nearly 24 hours.

Terry Powell, 35, of Cornwall, and Jason Lord, 23, of Devon, fled from a wing at Langdon Hospital in Dawlish on Tuesday night at about 11pm.

Devon and Cornwall police said the men were arrested about 90 miles away in Newlyn, Cornwall at about 8pm last night.

Both were taken into custody by police at Camborne police station.

Police had described the pair as "a potential danger to the public".

Lord, a paranoid schizophrenic, who tried to stab a police officer at Exeter's Heavitree Road police station, had been detained indefinitely last year under the Mental Health Act.

Police say the crime was caught on CCTV and in court, Judge Graham Cottle described Lord's attack as "potentially murderous".

Lord admitted attempted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two charges of carrying an offensive weapon.

It is understood Lord has a history of drug abuse.

He was originally arrested after he was knocked down during a cycle race in Paignton and police officers who went to his aid recovered a samurai sword.

Devon Partnership Trust, which runs the county's mental health services, said security was of "paramount importance".

Langdon Hospital is a medium secure unit which is run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

There is now to be a review of a security. Jim Masters, the Director of Forensic Services, said they are currently upgrading security at the unit to "make it even tighter".

(DS)

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