Dangerous AWOL child kidnapper found following massive Hackney police op

Police have warned the public not to approach Shane Hart.

Police have warned the public not to approach Shane Hart. - Credit: Archant

A dangerous child snatcher who went on the run after giving a guard the slip on a trip outside a secure psychiatric unit was found by Hackney police in the early hours this morning.

Shane Hart absconded in Brooksby Walk, Homerton whilst on escorted leave from the John Howard Centre at around 3pm on Wednesday.

This is the second time the 54-year old - who is the subject of a hospital order following his conviction in 1994 for false imprisonment and taking a child without lawful authority - has escaped.

He last vanished in 2009 after he was allowed to go to the loo alone at Stratford shopping centre.

Police warned the public not to approach Hart, and to call 999 immediately if they spotted him.

CID officers finally tracked him down this morning in Watford, Hertfordshire, and he is now being held in custody at an east London police station.

Acting Chief Insp Ian Simpkins said: “It was a big response yesterday, police were deeply concerned about the absence of Hart and there was a large scale response throughout the day.

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“Almost the entire senior leadership #team were engaged in dealing with the incident, 24 officers were actively seeking him, plus local officers were engaged in a search as well as detectives.”

Convicted killer, Lerone Boye was at large for over three months after escaping from the centre itself in Kenworthy Road, Homerton, last October.

He was finally found under a bed in Chigwell following another large scale police op, when he described his time AWOL as “the best three months of my life”.

And another patient, Samuel Lee who is serving time for raping a disabled woman, absconded while on unsupervised leave in June.

Lee, who was described as “violent” and suffering a form of schizophrenia, was tracked down by police in Eastbourne, Sussex, three days later.

Rapist Shane Smith escaped from the “secure unit” in 2012, and was only rearrested again six weeks later for allegedly trying to break into a car in Loughton.

The teenager was jailed in 2010 after repeatedly raping and tormenting a schoolgirl at knifepoint, and beating her while she was bound by her hands and feet to a bed.