A DRUG addict who stabbed a Weaverham man to death is back behind bars after going on the run from an open prison – but no-one told his family.
The parents of 29-year-old Kevin Cook have been “put through hell” thinking their son’s killer, Garry Smith, 42, was still on the loose after absconding from HMP Sudbury in January 2007, four years after being handed a 10-year term for manslaughter.
Now Mr Cook’s father, Mike Walker, wants “someone’s head on the block” after discovering heroin addict Smith, originally from Liverpool, has been banged up since LAST MAY.
He was initially re-arrested by Merseyside Police on April 29 and placed in another low security open prison on May 1 before escaping again the following day.
Smith was arrested again later that month and has been at HMP Garth at Preston, a category B prison, since May 31.
The astonishing series of Prison Service blunders was only brought to light this week following investigations by Cheshire Police.
Mr Walker, of Dart Walk, Winsford, said: “I just can’t believe these people can be so incompetent – it’s an absolute disgrace.
“To let him walk out once is bad enough but to put him back in an open prison so he can do it again is a joke.
“We’ve been through hell thinking the man who killed our son has been free – and nobody had the courtesy to tell us he was back in prison.”
Jailing Smith in 2002, Mr Justice Curtis described him as the “main driving force” behind the gang attack at Mr Cook’s home at Forster Avenue, Weaverham.
Smith stabbed the father-of-three through the heart with a carving knife, and he died in hospital an hour later.
Mr Walker added: “We’ve got to thank Cheshire Police for telling us as soon as they heard.
“But I want someone’s head on the block for this. I want to take this as far as I can to make sure no other families have to go through what we have done.”
The Prison Service had not responded by the time the Chronicle went to press.