Man ‘assisted convict on the run from jail’

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Police in Middle Street, Portsmouth, over the weekend.

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A MAN offered an escaped prisoner a place to stay with him at his mother’s home and told him: ‘I won’t tell my mum you’re on the run,’ a court heard.

Martyn Yates is alleged to have made the statement in a message to Ashley Green after Green, 27, texted him to say he was ‘running from the old bill’.

Yates, 28, denies assisting Green after he absconded from Ford open prison in Arundel, West Sussex.

Christopher Stopa, prosecuting at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘Police went to an address in Swanmore Road in Havant at 9.40pm on May 22.

‘They entered that property. There were a number of people there, and they arrested Green and took from him a mobile phone.

‘Also there was Yates. He had a mobile telephone that was charging up in that premises and that mobile phone was seized and subsequently both were looked at.’

Mr Stopa said messages between the pair were found on the phones.

The court heard that one from Green to Yates sent after Yates asked him what he was up to, read ‘Running from the old bill, need somewhere to go’.

Mr Stopa said Yates’ reply read ‘You can stay at mine bud I won’t tell my mum you’re on the run lol’.

He added: ‘You offer someone a place to stay when he’s told you he’s on the run – that’s interfering with his recapture.’

The court hneard Yates and Green met in 2009 at Camp Hill prison on the Isle of Wight where they were both serving jail sentences.

Yates said during evidence they had not kept in touch after he was released, apart from brief exchanges on Facebook.

Asked what he thought Green meant when he said he was ‘running from the old bill’, Yates, of Scratchface Lane, Bedhampton said: ‘I thought he was wanted for further offences.’

Asked by Edward Hollingsworth, defending, if he knew or imagined Green had escaped from prison, Yates replied: ‘No.’

Yates said he did not know Green had absconded until receiving a call saying police had been to his parents’ house. He said he told Green who then said he was wanted for running from prison.