Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prison inmate breaks out to escape incessant rap music

Robert Stevens

Robert Stevens

Yes, rap music played constantly, not to torture prison inmates, but for their enjoyment. Add to that some quality mind-altering substances, and you have quite the non-stop party … but not for Robert Stevens.

Stevens, 58, is a prison inmate in South Gloucestershire, England. He was sentenced in November 2011 to six-and-a-half years for robbery. This was not his first time inside, as he has quite the list of priors: 21 convictions for 45 separate offences over the last 40 years. So prison, it seems, has not been much of a deterrent for him — at least not til now.

On March 9, 2014, Stevens had had enough and decided to go over the wall. He managed to elude police for almost three weeks before being collared and hauled back to the lockup.

When Stevens was brought before Judge Roger Jarvis for sentencing after his re-capture, the judge asked Stevens why he had chosen to break out. His attorney told the court that Stevens was in “a very noisy wing where rap music was being played day and night,”  and that he was constantly being bothered by younger inmates trying to sell him drugs.

On hearing that Steven just didn’t like his fellow inmates, Jarvis responded, “I’m afraid that’s one of the prices people pay if they commit crimes and go to prison.”

Unfortunately for Stevens, he wasn’t much happier on the outside — probably all the rap music and drugs — and was allegedly ready to turn himself in that day if police hadn’t found him, “Thank God you’ve found me, I was hoping this would happen,” Stevens reportedly told the arresting officers.

Jarvis called him “impulsive and opportunistic” and added ten months to his sentence as a disincentive to others contemplating escape.

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