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  1. Ronke Phillips: Senior Correspondent

'Hostile staff and high drug use' at Pentonville prison

A damning prison report describes Pentonville as "seriously overcrowded", with hostile staff and high drug use among inmates. Unannounced HMIP inspection of Pentonville found vermin infestation, broken windows and high numbers of inmates on suicide watch.

Pentonville Prison Credit: Press Association

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Drug use in jail 'reflects society'

Almost one in eight prisoners have illegal drugs in their system and another one in five are taking methadone, a jail watchdog has said.

Life behind bars for the 1,260 inmates at Pentonville Prison is "a microcosm of society outside", David Miller, chairman of the Victorian-era jail's independent monitoring board (IMB) said.

Problems of mental illness, drug abuse and educational failure are concentrated and made starkly visible.

– David Miller

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Prisoner used 'makeshift rope' to escape

Pentonville Prison, north London Credit: PA

A "potentially dangerous" murderer has gone on the run for the third time after escaping over the walls of Pentonville Prison using a makeshift rope.

John Massey, one of Britain's longest-serving prisoners, made off from the category B jail in Islington, north London, at around 6.30pm yesterday.

The 64-year-old used a makeshift rope to escape over a wall and was not spotted in time by prison officers, sources said.

Prisoner on the run

64-year-old John Massey Credit: Met Police

Police have launched a man hunt for a convicted murderer who has escaped from jail.

64-year-old John Massey escaped from Pentonville Prison in Islington, North London at around 6:30pm yesterday evening.

Massey was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a man at a pub in east London in 1975.

Scotland Yard said he is considered "potentially dangerous" and should not be approached.

Massey escaped from Pentonville at around 6.30 yesterday evening. Credit: PA
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