"Most wanted" Portsmouth fugitive who goaded police is finally caught after £5,000 reward offered

A “most wanted” Portsmouth fugitive who goaded police on social media when they were unable to catch him has now been found - less than two days after a £5,000 reward for him was put up.
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A bounty was offered for information leading to the capture of menace Samuel Hamilton who had evaded police since December. A previous wanted appeal by the force in January had proved fruitless. But less than 48 hours after the cash offer was announced by Crimestoppers and Hampshire police he was back in custody on Sunday.

During his stint on the run, the 24-year-old mocked police attempts to catch him by putting his Facebook profile picture as a screenshot of his wanted picture with his face half covered - taken from The News’ social media post of the appeal in January. It included the caption “still outside” along with memes and comments poking fun at evading police. People responding to the post had joined in with ripostes, including “funny man” and “run Forest (Gump) run”.

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But on Sunday morning, police finally had their man. Police nor Crimestoppers would say whether the cash offer had led to his capture. 

Hamilton had last been seen in the Portsea area of Portsmouth on Sunday 7 January having gone on the run after breaching his licence conditions and was wanted on recall to prison.

His former partner said she had been “petrified” after being on the receiving end of Hamilton’s actions. Now he is in custody, she said: “I feel such a relief, a big weight lifted off my shoulders and I don’t have to be scared to walk the streets anymore. And I can also tell my children they no longer have to be scared.

“I was always scared for my life. Even now that we aren’t together, I will not walk the street without an alarm on me because I’m scared of what could happen after he tried approaching us in the street in December. I had to move house and everything to keep myself and my children safe from him.

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“He was making a joke of (being on the run) and putting the wanted photo as his profile picture…and everyone’s finding it funny by laughing, reacting to it, commenting, calling him hilarious and telling him to keep running. It was honestly quite embarrassing because maybe if people knew the real reason involved was domestic violence and causing fear to his own children maybe they wouldn’t find it funny.”

Beth Simpson, regional manager at Crimestoppers, said on Friday: “Due to the significant risks involved, it’s vital that Samuel Hamilton is found. We are supporting the police as they hunt for Hamilton. If you know his whereabouts and you contact Crimestoppers directly, you may be entitled to a reward of up to £5,000.

“Our charity is here for you if you do not want to speak to the authorities directly and prefer not to give your personal details. Crimestoppers is independent of the police and guarantees you stay completely anonymous.”

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