Escape plot lover jailed

A WOMAN who helped her dangerous 'toyboy' husband escape from a secure mental hospital in Doncaster is today behind bars.

A judge at Doncaster Crown Court refused to believe Carol Kent, aged 46, had acted on impulse when she fled England with Joshua Keogh, a patient at the Cheswold Park Hospital near Sprotbrough.

Judge Jacqueline Davies said Kent was infatuated with Keogh, who is half her age, and had planned their disappearing act last summer during a supervised visit to her home in Manor Drive, Town Moor.

The couple met and married when she was a care worker at the unit but in July last year they both flew to Belfast after they slipped out of the house while a Cheswold Park supervisor's back was turned.

Kent, who pleaded guilty to a charge of contravening the Mental Health Act by knowingly assisting a patient to absent himself without leave, was jailed for six months.

A previous hearing was told how Keogh was detained in Cheswold Park because he was diagnosed with a pyschotic illness after his conviction in Northern Ireland for attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm, making threats to endanger life, assault and aggravated burglary.

A background report said he had a fixation with weapons and had narrowly escaped being shot by police when they tried to arrest him and he pointed a pistol at them.

Keogh's application for release from Cheswold Park was recently refused by a mental health tribunal because he was "volatile, dangerous and known to arm himself with replica weapons."

Michael Cane-Soothill, defending Kent, said she did not know it was an offence to do what she did and he was being bullied by other residents at the unit.

"On the spur of the moment they went to the airport, bought tickets and left."

But Judge Davies pointed out Kent had already packed her own medication, had her car parked on the road instead of the drive for a quick getaway, and had withdrawn a substantial amount of money from her bank.

"You must have researched the flights and the hotel and you had also changed your name. When people go on home leave it is under strict conditions and what you did undermines the trust that was put in you. There is no alternative but for me to impose a sentence of custody because there are so many aggravating features."

Kent and Keogh, who have both changed their names, are still married but have had no face-to-face contact since they were caught in Belfast. She resigned from her post before their wedding which was conducted under guard at Doncaster register office.

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