On-the-run prisoner taunts police in letter to local newspaper

Darrel Burbeary. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency
Darrel Burbeary. Pictures: Ross Parry Agency
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A PRISON escapee who is still on the run has been taunting police – by writing to the local newspaper and asking them to correct a mistake in an article about him.

Burglar Darrell Burbeary, 43, has been on the run for 11 days after escaping from Moorland Open Prison in Doncaster.

The letter sent to The Star newspaper

The letter sent to The Star newspaper

Police said they believed he could be heading for his home in Heeley, Sheffield.

But Burbeary has contacted Sheffield’s newspaper, The Star, to correct the mistake – saying he is actually from the city’s Manor Estate.

The letter said: “You wrote a statement about me saying my home roots were Heeley. You couldn’t be further from the truth. My home roots are the Manor estate of Sheffield.”

Burbeary added he could not disclose his current address ‘for obvious reasons’ — but did provide his telephone number in the letter.

Burbeary's letter

Burbeary's letter

“If you do any more write-ups about this please contact me,” he wrote. Any doubts you may have, I will correct you. So please do not hesitate to phone me.”

But he later thought better of it and realised the number might lead to him being traced — because he scribbled the digits out.

Journalists on the paper have passed the letter to South Yorkshire Police who were today continuing to track his whereabouts.

Burbeary absconded from Moorland prison on Sunday, June 15. His letter, which had a Sheffield postmark, came to The Star’s offices in a white envelope on which he had scrawled his name in block letters surrounded by hand-drawn stars.

Burbeary was serving a 30-month jail sentence for burglary, imposed last year, when he absconded.

Superintendent Colin McFarlane said: “Extensive inquiries are ongoing in a bid to locate Darrell Burbeary and return him to prison.

“We are aware of the letter he has sent to the press, clarifying that he is from the Manor area of Sheffield rather than Heeley.

“Of course, the sending of this letter has resulted in a further media appearance for Mr Burbeary, which means even more members of the public will be aware he is currently at large.

“I would urge anyone who has seen him, or who knows where he is, to call South Yorkshire Police.”

Burbeary is white, around 6ft 2ins tall, and thin. He has short dark hair and, when last seen, was wearing a black Adidas top, dark-coloured tracksuit bottoms and trainers.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said he is not thought to be dangerous, although members or the public are advised not to approach him.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 101, quoting incident number 1,201 of Sunday, June 15, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.