Liam O'Brien Leicester Prison escape bid jail appeal fails

Leicester prison Liam O'Brien was found with ropes made of bedsheets, improvised digging tools and a hole in his cell wall

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A prisoner was found with ropes made from bedsheets, a hole excavated in his cell wall and improvised digging tools, a court has heard.

Liam O'Brien admitted trying to break out of Leicester Prison and was jailed for 21 months, added to the six years he was already serving for robbery.

But he appealed against the sentence, describing the term as too harsh for a failed escape plan.

On Thursday, London's Appeal Court rejected O'Brien's challenge.

O'Brien was serving his sentence in Leicester when prison officers found the makeshift ropes, mattress covers converted to use to climb a barbed-wire fence, improvised tools for digging and a hidden hole.

'Manifestly excessive'

At the court, Mr Justice Simon said: "Papier-mache and hardened mud had been used to seal the wall."

At Leicester Crown Court in June, O'Brien admitted conspiracy to escape lawful custody and was given 21 months in jail.

That was on top of his six years for four counts of robbery and one of possessing an offensive weapon in public which was handed down in November 2012.

He argued the conspiracy sentence was a "manifestly excessive" term for a plan that "would never have succeeded".

But Mr Justice Simon, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Mackay, said: "A sentence of 21 months is not even arguably manifestly excessive. In our view, the judge imposed the right sentence in this case.

"Accordingly the application is dismissed."

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