Prisoner on the run for more than 20 years ‘lived low key life with his wife'

·3-min read
Barry Doughty was on the run for more than 20 years. (SWNS)
Barry Doughty was on the run for more than 20 years. (SWNS)

A prisoner on the run for more than 20 years lived a low key life with his wife and drugs business in adjoining flats, according to his neighbours.

Barry Doughty, 59 was seven months into a nine-year term for cannabis dealing when he absconded from HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire and fled to Europe where he lived for nearly 20 years under the name Gary Monk.

He returned to the UK and settled in Dover, Kent, where he set up a suburban steroid business worth £900,000 before being arrested again and his true identity being revealed.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "He was still going by the name of Gary. He kept himself to himself.

"Someone else has already moved into the flat, however his missus still lives in the flat next door.

"He was renting both of them, using one to live in and one for his business."

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Inside of the property where the illegal steroids empire was run. (SWNS)
Inside of the property where the illegal steroids empire was run. (SWNS)

In April 1999, Doughty “bent an iron bar to his cell window” before scaling the perimeter fence at HMP Littlehey, in Cambridgeshire.

During his 20 years on the run he produced and sold “vast quantities of steroids” alongside George Higgins and Sam Winwright, both 33.

The court heard it was an “organised criminal enterprise” which made hundreds of thousands of pounds between 2017 and 2019.

Doughty was returned to prison in October 2019.

On Tuesday afternoon he was jailed for six years to run consecutively with the sentence he was already serving.

Judge Simon James, sentencing at Canterbury Crown Court, said: “Your position is considerably aggravated by the fact that you have previously been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for the supply of cannabis.”

Mr James earlier said the prison break was a serious matter “because it undermines the entire prison system”.

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Cash seized during searches. (SWNS)
Cash seized during searches. (SWNS)

Daniel Cohen, representing Doughty, acknowledged his client’s many years at large were an aggravating factor but argued that before the steroids matter he had tried to live an “otherwise law-abiding lifestyle” outside the UK.

He continued: “He tells me that the decision to break out of prison in 1999 was done in circumstances where his family were coming under pressure and threats in the local east end area.”

With bills for his daughter’s private school mounting, Doughty hatched a plan to escape and break out of prison and ultimately to rebuild his life abroad living under the alias.

Mr Cohen added: “Obviously he was able to do that without coming to the attention of the authorities for some time.

“It was only the steroids matter that unravelled that lifestyle that he had developed.”

The court heard Doughty became involved in the steroids operation out of a desire to fund private medical treatment he was seeking as a result of being at large.

Higgins, described as Doughty’s “trusty lieutenant”, was jailed for three years, while Winwright received an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

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