Manhunt for jailed Burnley cage fighter on the run from open prison

Ricardo Dunn

Peter Hoyle

First published in News
Last updated
Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A NATIONWIDE manhunt has been launched after a former cage fighter who violently attacked a dad-of-two in Burnley fled from prison.

Police have warned the public not to approach Ricardo Dunn, 32, after he absconded from an open prison in Buckinghamshire in the early hours on Sunday.

He was serving an indeterminate sentence following a conviction for GBH with intent on Peter Hoyle in July 2009.

The violent criminal knocked out his victim with a single punch before stamping and punching him as he lay helpless and unconscious in Leyland Road.

Mr Hoyle suffered a brain injury, fractured skull, had his teeth kicked out and he ended up spending five months in hospital.

Dunn was later jailed and was told he must serve at least four years, 16 weeks and five days of the indefinite sentence before the parole board would consider if he was safe for release.

But in the early hours on Sunday, he fled HMS Spring Hill, a Category D prison in Buckinghamshire with convicted murderer Darren Douglas, 46, from Birmingham.

Yesterday Mr Hoyle's former wife said she was ‘disgusted’ that Dunn had been allowed to serve some of his sentence in an open prison.

Kelly Newman, who has two children, Caine and Pharrell, with Mr Hoyle, said his life ‘has been ruined’ after the attack.

She said: “I think it is disgusting. I never knew he was in an open prison. Life has been so hard for Peter and my boys since the attack.

“The heartache and pain we all have had to go through has been very stressful and for my boys it has been hard having to learn a new dad, he's just not the same person anymore and this has brought it all back.

“I found out off my cousin who saw it on Facebook, and now I've had to explain to my boys before someone else tells them.”

Dunn, living in Brierfield at the time of the attack, was an amateur cage fighter.

Mr Hoyle, a former soldier and body builder, used to work with disabled people at Alternate Futures in Blackburn and previously worked at Calderdale Hospital, Whalley.

He is now back at home living with his new girlfriend.

Kelly said he was ‘a fantastic dad’. She added: "He will never be the same and will never fully recover. In my eyes his life has been ruined.”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said it was ‘absolutely disgraceful’ that Dunn had been allowed in an open prison.

He said: “People who have been convicted for such violent offences shouldn’t be in an open prison, it’s as simple as that.

“I have nothing against open prisons but they aren’t suitable for this type of offender. It is appalling, absolutely disgraceful.

“They have allowed him to be in an open prison but nobody has given a second thought for the victim of this attack.”

Douglas was serving a life sentence for stabbing a man to death outside a pub in Birmingham in 1998.

Chief inspector Olly Wright, of Thames Valley Police, said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen these men in the area and can provide us with information about their movements.

"These men were both convicted for violent offences and I would advise anyone who sees them, to not approach them and call police immediately.

"Both men have links with other areas so may have travelled out of the Thames Valley to those areas.

“I would like to remind people that it is a criminal offence to harbour these men and anyone caught doing so would be arrested."

Lancashire Police have been made aware of Dunn’s disappearance.

The issue of prisoners walking out of open prisons has been in the spotlight this year with a number of high profile criminals going on the run.

In May this year, prolific armed robber Michael 'Skullcracker' Wheatley, 55, went on the run from HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

And on Sunday a fifth prisoner fled HMP Hatfield open prison, near Doncaster, in the space of five weeks.

Yesterday Justice Minister Chris Grayling said the number of absconds from open prisons was down 80 per cent over the last 10 years.

After being quizzed on the issue in the House of Commons, Mr Grayling said: ”I do not believe it is sensible for this country to scrap open prisons.

”I believe it’s sensible to have tougher risk assessment procedures and I think it is sensible not to transfer people to open conditions if they have previously absconded.

”Those are changes we have put in place in the last couple of weeks.”

Comments (14)

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10:10am Tue 1 Jul 14

yyy's1 says...

Perhaps I am not as bright as people in the government but I've got a feeling that open prisons don't work.
Perhaps I am not as bright as people in the government but I've got a feeling that open prisons don't work. yyy's1
  • Score: 34

10:22am Tue 1 Jul 14

vicn1956 says...

Shouldn't absconded be reported as walked out!
The justice system-fit for purpose
Shouldn't absconded be reported as walked out! The justice system-fit for purpose vicn1956
  • Score: 4

12:26pm Tue 1 Jul 14

peely says...

There should be no such thing as an " open prison ". , prison should be prison , locked up !
There should be no such thing as an " open prison ". , prison should be prison , locked up ! peely
  • Score: 31

12:46pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Eric Shawn says...

We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it.
Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works.
We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it. Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works. Eric Shawn
  • Score: 23

1:41pm Tue 1 Jul 14

DaveBurnley says...

Eric Shawn wrote:
We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it.
Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works.
Oh you can't do that, what about their human rights?

Prisons are not there to punish prisoners and make it so unpleasant that they would not wish to be locked up again, instead we have to spend a fortune on ensuring that they don't lack the conditions that honest folk can only dream about. (regular meals, free medical care, a roof over their heads)
[quote][p][bold]Eric Shawn[/bold] wrote: We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it. Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works.[/p][/quote]Oh you can't do that, what about their human rights? Prisons are not there to punish prisoners and make it so unpleasant that they would not wish to be locked up again, instead we have to spend a fortune on ensuring that they don't lack the conditions that honest folk can only dream about. (regular meals, free medical care, a roof over their heads) DaveBurnley
  • Score: 23

4:07pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Izanears says...

After all the times criminals has 'escaped' from open prisons over the past few months, it seems that the Government and the Prison Authority still have not learned anything.
After all the times criminals has 'escaped' from open prisons over the past few months, it seems that the Government and the Prison Authority still have not learned anything. Izanears
  • Score: 18

7:53pm Tue 1 Jul 14

the beaver says...

Like the article states 89 prisoners had gone missing since the 1970s from Ford open prison and are still unaccounted for. Which means they keep their heads down and noses clean. So its better if they escape because on the whole criminals tend to re-offend. I guess they must escape and move abroad which is a bonus. We should send them on holiday half way through their sentence for a week and let them make their way home. Save the country a fortune and get rid of them to another country for a change.
Like the article states 89 prisoners had gone missing since the 1970s from Ford open prison and are still unaccounted for. Which means they keep their heads down and noses clean. So its better if they escape because on the whole criminals tend to re-offend. I guess they must escape and move abroad which is a bonus. We should send them on holiday half way through their sentence for a week and let them make their way home. Save the country a fortune and get rid of them to another country for a change. the beaver
  • Score: 2

9:29pm Tue 1 Jul 14

jimmi5bellies says...

Why is a convicted murderer in an open prison. Life should mean life in a real tough closed prison.
Why is a convicted murderer in an open prison. Life should mean life in a real tough closed prison. jimmi5bellies
  • Score: 12

9:11am Wed 2 Jul 14

DaveBurnley says...

the beaver wrote:
Like the article states 89 prisoners had gone missing since the 1970s from Ford open prison and are still unaccounted for. Which means they keep their heads down and noses clean. So its better if they escape because on the whole criminals tend to re-offend. I guess they must escape and move abroad which is a bonus. We should send them on holiday half way through their sentence for a week and let them make their way home. Save the country a fortune and get rid of them to another country for a change.
Or maybe they've just changed their names and carried on thieving?
[quote][p][bold]the beaver[/bold] wrote: Like the article states 89 prisoners had gone missing since the 1970s from Ford open prison and are still unaccounted for. Which means they keep their heads down and noses clean. So its better if they escape because on the whole criminals tend to re-offend. I guess they must escape and move abroad which is a bonus. We should send them on holiday half way through their sentence for a week and let them make their way home. Save the country a fortune and get rid of them to another country for a change.[/p][/quote]Or maybe they've just changed their names and carried on thieving? DaveBurnley
  • Score: 3

9:49am Wed 2 Jul 14

GracesDad says...

DaveBurnley wrote:
Eric Shawn wrote:
We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it.
Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works.
Oh you can't do that, what about their human rights?

Prisons are not there to punish prisoners and make it so unpleasant that they would not wish to be locked up again, instead we have to spend a fortune on ensuring that they don't lack the conditions that honest folk can only dream about. (regular meals, free medical care, a roof over their heads)
Honest folk can only dream about regular meals, free medical care and roof over your head? Which third world country do you live in then?

Oops, just realized you're from Burnley....keep dreaming then Dave.
[quote][p][bold]DaveBurnley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eric Shawn[/bold] wrote: We have tried this softly softly, rehabilitate for long enough. The clear evidence is that it costs too much and does not work. Scrap it. Time to get back to punishment and deterrent. That works.[/p][/quote]Oh you can't do that, what about their human rights? Prisons are not there to punish prisoners and make it so unpleasant that they would not wish to be locked up again, instead we have to spend a fortune on ensuring that they don't lack the conditions that honest folk can only dream about. (regular meals, free medical care, a roof over their heads)[/p][/quote]Honest folk can only dream about regular meals, free medical care and roof over your head? Which third world country do you live in then? Oops, just realized you're from Burnley....keep dreaming then Dave. GracesDad
  • Score: 2

9:53am Wed 2 Jul 14

ossym says...

If the punishment fitted the crime he wouldnt even have needed a prison!
Sentence a disgrace, even then they send him to a holiday camp.
Eye for an eye , tooth for tooth, ruined life for a ruined life.
Back to the future otherwise its sharia.
If the punishment fitted the crime he wouldnt even have needed a prison! Sentence a disgrace, even then they send him to a holiday camp. Eye for an eye , tooth for tooth, ruined life for a ruined life. Back to the future otherwise its sharia. ossym
  • Score: 6

2:04pm Wed 2 Jul 14

timeforcommonsense says...

Maybe we should literally make it an eye for an eye. Whatever someone does to their victim should be done to them. People might think twice about laying into a defenceless man as he lies unconscious, or throwing acid in someones face or doing anything unmentionable to someone else if they thought the same would be done to them
Maybe we should literally make it an eye for an eye. Whatever someone does to their victim should be done to them. People might think twice about laying into a defenceless man as he lies unconscious, or throwing acid in someones face or doing anything unmentionable to someone else if they thought the same would be done to them timeforcommonsense
  • Score: 7

4:43pm Wed 2 Jul 14

sarahburnley says...

Absolutely disgraceful that they have escaped. Peters life has changed forever. He is still suffering from this attack and will continue to suffer for the rest of his life. He has neurological and mobility problems and will never run again. I know they send people to open prisons to try to help them settle back into society after prison but I dont think he was even in prison long enough to be offered parole. Our justice system is a joke !!!
Absolutely disgraceful that they have escaped. Peters life has changed forever. He is still suffering from this attack and will continue to suffer for the rest of his life. He has neurological and mobility problems and will never run again. I know they send people to open prisons to try to help them settle back into society after prison but I dont think he was even in prison long enough to be offered parole. Our justice system is a joke !!! sarahburnley
  • Score: 4

10:14am Thu 3 Jul 14

vicn1956 says...

You are in the wrong place at the wrong time if you run into these people. You or your relatives are scarred for life.
If the justice system wasn't a joke these thugs would spend much more time locked away from decent folk and on release would be scared of going back in.
But hey millions vote back in politicians who fail the people for generation after generation.
You are in the wrong place at the wrong time if you run into these people. You or your relatives are scarred for life. If the justice system wasn't a joke these thugs would spend much more time locked away from decent folk and on release would be scared of going back in. But hey millions vote back in politicians who fail the people for generation after generation. vicn1956
  • Score: 2

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