Prisoner goes on the run – then phones his local newspaper to say ‘prison is driving me crazy’

A convicted thief has broken out of jail – then called his local newspaper to say jail was ‘driving me crazy’. But fugitive Greggor Grey, 42, has vowed to surrender.

He had served 17 years of a sentence for theft when he fled from HMP Sudbury in Derbyshire on May 15. It is understood he could have been released after just three years under an indefinite term of imprisonment for public protection (IPP), but he remained behind bars, BirminghamLive reports.

Police warned the public not to approach the fugitive. In an emotional phone call to a BirminghamLive reporter, Gray said he intended to turn himself in before his next scheduled parole hearing.

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Speaking about the years he spent in prison, he said: “We’ve been in prison for 17 years. It drives me crazy.”

The long-term prisoner added that he plans to return to prison before his next parole hearing on June 14. In an outburst, he told the newspaper, “I thought about giving them the raw, uncut emotion that I deal with on a daily basis.”

Gray gave no indication of his whereabouts during their brief phone call. It is understood he was initially given a minimum IPP of three years – a controversial sentence which was abolished in 2012. But those who received an IPP sentence before the change must still abide by its terms .

Offenders sentenced to an IPP are given a minimum sentence that they must serve before they can apply to the parole board for release. But the board will only release an offender if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary to keep him in prison for the protection of the public.

HMP Sudbury

PPIs were launched in 2005 but scrapped in 2012 after being described as the ‘biggest stain’ on the criminal justice system by former Supreme Court Justice Lord Brown. But the decision was not retroactive – meaning those serving an IPP sentence must still apply to the parole board for their release.

In 2019 the MEN revealed the shocking case of Wayne Bell who was just 17 when he was locked up for theft in 2007 – he punched another boy and took his bike at Ladybarn Park in south Manchester . He remained behind bars 12 years later.

Wayne Bell of Burnage, who received an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public.

In a previous statement, Derbyshire Police said of fugitive Greggor Gray: “We are requesting information after a convict escaped from HMP Sudbury. Greggor Gray was released from open prison on Sunday May 15.

“The 42-year-old serving a life sentence for theft is described as black, 5ft 11in tall and stocky in build. He is known to use the aliases of Moses Blake, McGreggor Gray and Marcus Osbourne and has links to the Leicester and Birmingham areas.

“Anyone who has seen him or knows his whereabouts is asked to contact Derbyshire Police quoting reference 688-150522. If you see Grey, please do not approach him but contact police immediately.

“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting In an emergency you should always call 999.”

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