Lag who went for a fag escape snag

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AN inmate escaped from a secure psychiatric unit after being accidentally locked outside while he was having a cigarette.

But Shane Grooby’s time as a fugitive lasted only a matter of hours before police found him loitering on a street corner in Aylesbury after he was stitched up by a friend who told officers where he was.

The 35-year-old from Aylesbury, is now on trial for assaulting an officer who tried to re-arrest him.

Grooby had been locked up for four years for stealing £25,000 from the Gala bingo hall in Aylesbury in December 2008.

He was serving his sentence at the Marlborough House regional secure unit in Milton Keynes after being transferred from a prison in Nottingham.

During the trial at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Grooby – who was not allowed to leave the unit – said he had gone for a cigarette in the garden and when he tried to get back in found the door locked.

He told the court: “I’d had a row with one of the staff members and it was a spur of the moment thing. I climbed on to the roof and hid for a couple of hours in the bushes.”

He then caught a taxi to Aylesbury where he bumped into someone he knew – who promptly tipped off police.

Grooby indulged in two cans of beer and then went to a kebab shop, where he was being tracked by CCTV just before his arrest.

Two police officers were despatched and it is alleged Grooby assaulted PC Russell Golding.

Grooby claimed that he was punched and kicked repeatedly by PC Golding in a tussle.

The officer denied using excessive force but said he delivered ‘distraction kicks’ to Grooby’s body while trying to get him under his control.

The trial continues.

A spokesman from the Oxfordshire and Bucks Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said it has launched a ‘full investigation’ into Grooby’s short period on the run.