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Prisoners Escape In Jail Riot

July 16, 1988

DONCASTER, England (AP) _ Two prisoners were at large today after six inmates escaped during a jail riot in northern England, the British Home Office said. Four were captured before dawn.

Police in Doncaster, 150 miles north of London, said about 200 police officers were called to the mimumum-security Lindholme jail to help guards when about 90 of the 880 convicts began smashing furniture in their cells and starting fires Friday night.

The Home Office, the government department in charge of prisons, earlier said four prisoners were at large, but later corrected itself, saying only two were still on the run.

Home Office spokesman Colin Seabrook said six of the prison’s seven wings, including the hospital, kitchen, recreation area and prison shop, were damaged but much of the damage was superficial.

He said 46 inmates thought to have been involved in the disturbances were handed over to police before being sent to other prisons. The 828 remaining prisoners were still at Lindholme and he said there were adequate facilities available to feed and house them.

Prison service reinforcements, including guard dog teams, and police encircled the prison to prevent more escapes and sealed a breach in the steel- mesh fence around the facility.

Other officers manned roadblocks and searched the area in darkness and heavy rain looking for the two prisoners still on the run.

The two were identified as Ian Hook, 23, serving a 30-month sentence for robbery and Kevin McLaughan, also 23, serving an 18-month sentence for assault, theft and handling stolen goods. Neither was considered dangerous, police said.

One prisoner was hospitalized with a serious back injury received in the violence, the Home Office said.

Home Secretary Douglas Hurd asked Gordon Lake, deputy director general of the prison service, to extend his inquiry into a jail riot at Haverigg in Cumbria last month to include Lindholme.

A Home Office official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that unlike other disturbances in British prisons in recent years, no guards were taken hostage by the prisoners and nobody else was reported injured.

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