Family call for inquiry into escape of murderer David Richards

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

The family of a man murdered by Hell's Angel David Richards – who has been captured in Wolverhampton nine years after absconding from prison – today called for an inquiry into his disappearance.

Richards went on the run in 2005 after absconding from Sudbury Open Prison in Derbyshire.

The 53-year-old rented a flat, went on holiday to Ireland and claimed thousands of pounds in disability benefits in his time out of prison.

Police were tipped off to his whereabouts and Richards was arrested in the city.

Today the family of Michael Groves, a 16-year-old who was murdered by Richards in December 1984, spoke of their delight at him being caught.

The teenager was attacked with a knife, hammer and a wrench in his west London flat.

Richards wrote 'Hell's Angels' on the wall in his blood.

Louise Bull, Mr Groves' sister, said those responsible for the failings in letting Mr Richards remain free should be named.

She said: "I'm ecstatic he's been caught. Now I want him to serve the time he should've served in the first place.


"People need to explain how this can possibly have been able to happen and those responsible for doing nothing need to be named.

"My family got the real life sentence. He took everything away from us and we miss my brother at every special event, every family occasion. I have spent the last nine years full of anger and living in fear."

A Met spokesman said Richards was arrested on Friday. He was remanded in custody and will appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on August 29.

He said: "On Monday, June 2, the Met was contacted regarding Richards who was wanted by police having absconded from HMP Sudbury. As a result, officers attended an address in the West Midlands where Richards was subsequently arrested."


His capture follows the disappearance of an armed robber known as the Skull Cracker, which ignited a row about open prisons. Michael Wheatley, 55, walked out of a Kent jail last month, before holding up a building society in Surrey before being caught.

Ministers said inmates should no longer be transferred to open conditions or allowed on temporary release if they had absconded before.

Last year murderer Alan Giles – who was serving time for the kidnap and murder of teenager Kevin Ricketts – escaped from HMP Hewll.

Giles left an open section of the prison in October and was found in Worcestershire in November.

Giles, formerly from Oldbury, admitted escaping from lawful custody and was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court for a further six months in January, to run alongside the life term he is already serving.

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