Escape: nurses arrested

Two nurses have been suspended from duty over claims that they helped a patient escape from a North-East psychiatric unit.

Two nurses have been suspended from duty over claims that they helped a patient escape from a North-East psychiatric unit.

The 35-year-old man had been serving a sentence on a hospital order at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle.

He escaped on August 7 but returned voluntarily four days later.

An investigation was launched and two nurses were arrested on August 26.

One was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Another, a 29-year-old woman member of staff, was arrested for assisting an offender to go absent without leave.

Inquiries were continuing yesterday and the nurses have been bailed to October 12 and 13 in connection with the case.

This incident came weeks before an 18-year-old escaped while on a day's fishing trip from the hospital on Bank Holiday Monday.

William Pritchard absconded during a visit to Felton in Northumberland. He was recaptured within 24 hours.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said a 32-year-old woman was arrested on August 26 for allegedly perverting the course of justice and another on suspicion of assisting an offender to go absent without leave.

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