Not so great escape

A Prisoner from Bambury was given a long winded 96 mile ride in a police van to a court a mere walk from his cell. Suspect Oliver Thomas who was arrested for two public order offences was made to take the “scenic route” to the adjacent court after prison transport chiefs worried it could be a human rights issue.

Thomas, 27, said: ‘Why they couldn’t just walk me over to the court I don’t know. When they told me the van was coming from Southampton to Oxfordshire, I thought they were joking to be honest.

But John Bates, of prison transport contractor GEOAmey, said: ‘Police  wouldn’t expect us to turn up at Banbury and take him down the street in handcuffs. It strays into the area of human rights. Suspects have a right to have their identity protected.’

Thomas replied: ‘They didn’t say to me it would be against my human rights to walk me out front but even if they did, I wouldn’t have minded.’

Anna Mazzola. civil liberties specialist at Hickman and Rose,  said: ‘I would hate to see what was obviously sheer incompetence passed off as a human-rights issue.’