The Greatest Prison Escapes of All Time: Pankhurst Prison Escape (Part Three)

It’s been a while since we revisited our ‘Greatest Prison Escapes’ series. So far, we have looked at two high profile prison breakouts; the escape of American prisoner Frank Abagnale and Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.  

Picking it back up today, we will be taking a closer look at a prison escape that occurred back in 1995, this time from a prison in the UK. HM Prison Pankhurst is the prison in question – once a top security prison but was later downgraded in the 1990s.

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The Criminals

Andrew Roger, Keith Rose, and Matthew Williams, were the three prisoners who managed to escape from the HM Prison Pankhurst back in 1995.  All three were serving life sentences, with Roger and Rose both doing time for murder, whilst Williams was imprisoned for arson and bomb making.

Whilst most prison escapees get lucky and stumble across the instruments needed to aid their escape, these three cunning prisoners actually made all the equipment they needed; ladder, gun and master key. They all worked in the prison’s metal shop, making this possible over time.

The ladder was a 25 foot and made from steel – used to scale the prison fence. This wasn’t the most impressive thing that they made though – they constructed a key that opened every key and door in the prison – all made from memory.

The Escape

The prisoners at Pankhurst were all allowed to spend time in the small gym – this time was allocated every day. On the day in question, the three prisoners went along to the gym as normal. However, taking advantage of a distracted guard (or two), they unlocked the door at the back of the gym and escaped. They simply cut a hole in the fence (with another weapon they carved) and used their steel ladder to climb to safety (and freedom).

Luckily for the authorities (and unluckily for the prisoners), they were caught just a mere 4 days later. They were hiding out in an airfield, hoping to steal a plane for amateur pilot Rose to fly. In the end, the airfield was obviously a lot more secure than the prison ever was!

 Plane at the gate

We’re glad that the criminals were caught in the end, but it’s still really interesting to read about these prison escapes. We hope you enjoyed reading as much as we did writing!   

It just shows that you can’t be too careful when it comes to security – even high security prisons need to upgrade their security.

As locksmiths in Essex, AFS Security understands the importance of security. We offer our customer’s peace of mind by helping you with all your security needs – whether residential or commercial.

For more information on how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 0208 471 9000 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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