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Byline: Matt Lloyd Staff Reporter

KILLERS and armed robbers are among the Midland convicts who have vanished after being kept in low-security open prisons.

A manhunt was launched on Friday for dangerous Birmingham lags Marcus Brotherson and Jordan Hall, who fled from Derbyshire's HMP Sudbury overnight on Thursday.

They escaped just hours after Christopher Pincher, Conservative MP for Tamworth, demanded high-risk prisoners be kept under lock and key and it emerged some had been on the run for years.

Last night Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Erdington, blamed overcrowding for the great getaway. "Hardened criminals who are a danger to society should not be allowed to walk out of open prisons," he said.

"Our prisons are so full they are housing dangerous prisoners in open prisons."

Brotherson, 27, of Viscount Drive, was jailed in 2012 after a terrifying raid on the Hunter's Moon Pub in Hodge Hill.

He smashed his way into the boozer with a metal bar and threatened staff, eventually escaping with PS2,000 of pub takings.

Forensics experts recovered blood droplets at the scene left on fragments of smashed glass, which provided vital DNA evidence pinpointing Brotherson as the likely suspect.

His image was uploaded onto West Midlands Police's online Rogues Gallery, which later led to his arrest and conviction at Birmingham Crown Court.

Hall, meanwhile, was jailed at Warwick Crown Court in August 2008 and was serving an indeterminate sentence for causing grievous bodily harm.

His last known address was in Birmingham.

Mr Dromey added: "The first duty of a government is the safety and security of its citizens.

"Ministers are letting the public down."

The latest escapes came after it emerged around 90 prisoners had absconded, some for years, from HMP Ford open prison in Sussex.

Armed robber David Blood, from Tamworth, was one of them after he went missing on June 12 this year.

The leader of one of Tamworth's worst-ever gangs, he was serving a life sentence for a raid on a post office in Wylde Green, and was jailed at Stafford Crown Court in 2003.

Mr Pincher said prisoners who pose a risk to the public should be kept under tight security.

"Open prisons should only hold low risk prisoners or prisoners near the end of their sentences and who are ready for rehabilitations into society," he said.

"They should not be used to hold hardened criminals and dangerous recidivists.

"These should be kept safely under lock and key."

PC Stephen Reed of Sussex Police said: "Because of Blood's record, we have to consider that he could pose a threat to the public. "I would urge anyone who sees him to contact us on 999 rather than approaching him."

| Anyone with information on the |whereabouts of Brotherson or Hall should contact Derbyshire Police on 101.


| Marcus Brotherson (main picture) and |Jordan Hall fled from HMP Sudbury (right). Below, armed robber David Blood
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 22, 2014
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