A convicted child rapist who went on the run from a mental unit following a shopping trip has been banned from any further outings – for now.
At Basildon Crown Court, Judge Philip Clegg revealed it was the fourth time Patrick Cash, 35, had gone missing from Clare House, in Burnt Mills Road, Bowers Gifford. Cash, who was convicted in 1995 of twice raping a schoolboy, disappeared for 11 days last month after being allowed to go to Basildon.
Instead he got the train to London and went drinking with friends.
Police at first failed to tell the public the sex offender was on the run and waited five days before launching a public appeal.
Cash eventually handed himself in to police.
Judge Clegg said action was needed to protect Cash and the public. He said: “I am not in the business of punishing the mentally-ill, but I am in the business of ensuring the public are protected.”
Cash was released into the care of staff at Clare House.