AN armed robber was arrested in Blackburn last night after he absconded from prison.

Thomas Moffett, 51, failed to return to HMP Kennet in Liverpool from day release on Saturday.

A Lancashire Police spokesman, speaking this morning, said: “After he was reported missing, we conducted an extensive search.

“Moffett is from Blackburn and so was thought to be in the area.

“He was arrested at 9.05pm in Canterbury Street by Blackburn officers and is now on his way back to prison.”

Moffett, then living in Roebuck Close, Blackburn, was sentenced to an indeterminate sentence for carrying out six armed robberies on off-licences in Blackburn between March and May 2006.

He escaped with murderer, Arnold Pickering, 44, who was serving a life sentence for stabbing a disabled man in 1990.

Pickering, from Chadderton in Greater Manchester, has not yet been found.

The prisoners had both been risk assessed as suitable for temporary release on licence by the Ministry of Justice.


Officers are appealing to anyone with any information on Pickering's whereabouts to call Merseyside Police on either 0151 777 3803 or 0151 777 3891, or via 101.