AN ARSONIST handed himself into police two days after escaping from prison.

Qeser Khan had been serving a four year prison sentence, imposed in August 2017 at Birmingham Crown Court, for reckless arson and had been transferred to HMP Thorn Cross at Warrington.

But Judge Graeme Smith heard how, on March 12 he walked out of the open prison.

“Thorn Cross is an open establishment where prisoners are allowed free movement of the grounds at certain times and at other times they are locked in their respective units, only being allowed to leave to carry out specific purposes,” said Philip Hall, prosecuting in a hearing held at Minshull Street Crown Court using Skype video conferencing.

"On March 12 at around 8.30pm a roll call was conducted. Mr Khan did not attend that roll call and consequently he was reported as missing."

Khan, aged 32, of Devon Street, Bolton, was on the run for two days before he handed himself in at Bolton police station at 10.30pm.

Khan, who is now confined to the more secure Forest Bank prison, pleaded guilty to escape.

Elizabeth Evans, defending, told the court that Khan, who has been diagnosed with PTSD, bipolar and personality disorder, had walked out of prison impulsively because he felt anxious over a mix-up of his medication.

She added that his actions were "extremely foolish" as Khan had already served a large part of his sentence and he was expecting an imminent date for a parole hearing.

"Movements were in train for the consideration of his release," she said.

Judge Smith sentenced Khan to a further two months in jail to be served at the end of his current sentence. "The act of escaping from custody very seriously undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system," he told him.