Would-be killer went on the run from Blackburn

First published in Blackburn Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by

A MAN given a life sentence for attempting to murder his landlady in 1990 has been returned to jail for breaching the term of his life licence.

Donald Johnson, 76, was living in supported accommodation in Emerald Close, Blackburn, after being released in 2008 for attempting to kill his 60-year-old landlady with a pickaxe.

Under the terms of his life licence, Johnson, who has obsessive compulsive disorder, was able to come and go as he pleased but had to return to his hostel for 5pm each day.

Johnson, who also has mental health issues, served most of his sentence at Broadmoor Hospital.

Police were alerted to his disappearance by staff in his hostel when he failed to return on Saturday.

After contacting police in Cardiff, where Johnson lived when he committed his crime, officers were able to trace him through financial records to a hotel.

Officers raided the hotel and found the pensioner had flooded his hotel room by leaving the taps running.

He had also left a note telling officers he planned to ‘kill’ the next person who intercepted him.

CCTV operators located Johnson before any further crimes could be committed.

His licence has now been revoked and he has been returned to prison.

DI Jill Johnson said: “Initially, we started a high risk missing from home investigations over concerns Johnson may have been stranded in the snow. However, we were quickly able to trace him to a hotel in Cardiff.

“By the time officers arrived Johnson had flooded his room and left the hotel. He has been returned to prison.”

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