John Howard Centre: Woman admits hiding ‘dangerous’ Cornell Destouche who absconded from mental health unit

Karen Prosser

Karen Prosser - Credit: Archant

A woman has admitted hiding a violent and dangerous criminal in her home after he escaped from a mental health unit in Homerton.

Karen Prosser, 37, helped Cornell Destouche, a psychiatric patient at the John Howard Centre, avoid cops after he ran off while on leave in Walthamstow earlier this year.

Prosser was given an 18-month conditional discharge after pleading guilty to knowingly harbouring a patient when she appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday.

The court heard police went to her home in Walthamstow during the manhunt and showed her a photograph of Destouche – who was convicted of attempted murder in 2014 after stabbing a Police Community Support Officer.

She denied recognising him and became verbally abusive.

But the officers then learnt she was a friend of Destouche’s mum and they returned to find him lying on her sofa under a duvet.

Det Insp Paul Ridley of Hackney police said: “This was a wide-ranging and protracted enquiry involving a vast number of resources and extensive land, air and property searches.

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“Our efforts were significantly disrupted by the actions of Prosser and stalled this dangerous man from being apprehended. We will always take robust action against any individual harbouring a criminal.”