Time on the run was the “best three months of his life” for convicted killer Lerone Boye

Lerone Boye

Lerone Boye - Credit: MPS

Convicted murderer Lerone Boye, who went on the run from a mental health unit, said it had been the “best three months of his life” after police finally caught up with him hiding under a bed.

Police have released a new image of Lerone Boye moments before he absconded from the John Howard Centre in Homerton.

Police have released a new image of Lerone Boye moments before he absconded from the John Howard Centre in Homerton. Picture: Metropolitan Police Service - Credit: Archant

Boye, who is serving 28 years for the murder of 17-year-old Kelvin Chibueze, escaped the John Howard Centre medium secure unit in Kenworthy Road, Homerton, last October.

A large scale police operation to hunt him down ensued, and £15,000 reward was offered for information to help find him.

Officers raided a home in Eldeberry Close, Chigwell, in January in an operation involving police helicopters, dogs and the Territorial Support Group, to find him hiding under a bed.

When asked by arresting officers if his escape had been worth it, he replied: “Best three months of my life.”

Boye, 28, pleaded guilty to being unlawfully at large at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Tuesday, and will be sentenced at a later date.

Social therapist at the John Howard Centre, Dean Ablakwa, 29, of Bradmore Court, Endstone Road, Enfield, was acquitted today of conspiracy to help Boye escape from lawful custody.

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Mr Ablakwa worked on the medium-secure ward on which Boye was detained, and on October 16 Mr Ablakwa was asked to escort another patient to reception for approved unescorted community leave.

However, he also took Boye from the ward at the same time without seeking permission or alerting more senior staff.

They went into an airlock area by the door and CCTV footage showed that Boye appeared to bend down as the other patient legitimately signed himself out.

Boye then pushed the other patient to one side and made his escape.

Investigating officer Det Insp Mark Lawson, of the homicide and major crime command, said: “Boye has shown no remorse for the distress he undoubtedly caused the family of Kelvin Chibueze by absconding and I am pleased he is back where he belongs - behind bars.”

Boye was jailed in December 2012 for murder and was transferred to the John Howard Centre for assessment under the Mental Health Act last August, two months before his escape.

He had been part of a group who chased and stabbed Kelvin Chibueze, leaving him to die in an Ilford car park, in August 2011.

MP Meg Hillier called for public safety to be the “highest priority” at the John Howard Centre in June, after a violent rapist went on the run, and, said there were some “serious questions to be answered”.

Sex attacker Samuel Lee, 44, who suffers from a mild form of schizophrenia, failed to return to the medium secure unit - which specialises in prisoners with personality disorders - following a period of leave and was not found until three days later in Sussex.

Lee is serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2006 of snatching a cerebral palsy sufferer in Finsbury Park, and raping her during a terrifying hour-long attack in 2000.

In 1989, he had been jailed for manslaughter for stabbing a man to death.

Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request earlier this year showed 211 individuals under supervision at the same mental health unit – including murderers, sex offenders and kidnappers – had gone absent without leave since 2001.

The centre has been the subject of multiple investigations due to the number of escapes.

A spokesman for the John Howard Centre said that patients were only allowed periods of time outside the unit as part of their rehabilitation and treatment programme after a “comprehensive risk assessment, which is reviewed before each episode of leave”.