TWO violent prisoners escaped from a Worcestershire prison on the same day and were at large for almost a week.

Sagheer Hussain, convicted of attempted murder, and Mashooq Hussain, convicted of robbery, wounding and weapons offences, walked out of HMP Hewell.

One inmate wanted see his sick mother and the other his dying sister, walking out when he feared he was about to be moved to another open prison in the north of England. Both men, who are not related, appeared over videolink at Worcester Crown Court after their escape from the prison in Tardebigge, near Redditch on October 24 this year.

They had open prison status when they left Hewell’s dormitory, climbing out of a window and down a fire escape before heading for Birmingham.

Sagheer Hussain, aged 34, was serving a 13 year prison sentence for attempted murder and Mashooq Hussain, aged 51, a five year sentence for robbery and fraud by false representation but also had a previous conviction for wounding.

Paul Whitfield, prosecuting, said prison staff noticed the pair were absent during a roll call at around 11.40pm on October 24 this year.

He said: “Both defendants were at large for approximately six days, a relatively short time.”

Mr Whitfield told the court there was no evidence of any sophistication, organisation, bribes and no use of violence. Both men went to Sparkhill in Birmingham.

Mashooq Hussain later contacted his solicitor who advised him to hand himself in. However, he did not do so and was arrested in Percy Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, on October 30.

Sagheer Hussain told police in interview, he spent the days after his escape ‘shopping and buying things for himself’.

He called 999 himself and was arrested. He told officers his original motive for leaving was that ‘he didn’t feel safe in a prison environment’ and he ‘had not seen his family, particularly his mother, in some time’.

Mashooq Hussain had eight previous convictions for 15 offences between January 1996 and April 2017. Some of these convictions pertained to weapons offences and others involved ‘serious violence’, including a wounding conviction. Before his escape he had been eligible for release on March 10, 2020.

Sagheer Hussain had three previous convictions from between 2008 and 2014. In October 2014 he was sentenced to 13 years for attempted murder and had been due for release in October 2020.

Katie Mustard, for Sagheer Hussain, said: “This was not some pre-planned escape. It was a spontaneous act. The trigger for it was, on the day he left the prison, he had been told by another inmate that his mother, who had not been able to see him for some 15 months due to where he was in prison, had been rushed into hospital. In his words he panicked.”

Miss Mustard said he always intended to return to prison but conditions there were ‘terrible’ and ‘overcrowded’ and that her client had been subjected to ‘bullying and threats.’

He had also lost his grandfather and he became concerned for his grandmother’s welfare. Hussain contacted police before midnight on October 29 and was arrested just after midnight on October 30, Miss Mustard told the court.

Haroon Khattak, for Mashooq Hussain, said: “He made a spontaneous decision and walked out. It involves no planning and, very importantly in this case, no violence” said Mr Khattak.

The advocate said his client’s older sister was ‘terminally ill’ at the time and, because he was potentially going to be moved to an open prison in Cumbria, he panicked.

He said Hussain went to hand himself in at a police station but the shutter was down. He had also taken the time to write a letter of apology to the judge.

Judge Nicholas Cole said: “There needs to be an element of deterrence. Cases where people walk out of an open prison undermine public confidence in the prison system and they cause disruption to the prison regime. There is also the cost to the police of having to come and arrest you.”

He sentenced Sagheer Hussain to six months in custody and sentenced Mashooq Hussain to eight months. The longer sentence for Mashooq Hussain was to reflect the fact that he did not hand himself in. The judge confirmed that these sentences will to be served consecutively to the sentences they are already serving.