Leeds robber caught after seven years on the run

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A convicted robber from Leeds who escaped from prison in 2006 has been arrested in south London after seven years on the run.

Police said Brian James Waite, 43, is back in jail after being arrested in Lewisham early this morning by officers from the Metropolitan and West Yorkshire police forces.

Waite, originally from Seacroft, broke out of HMP North Sea Camp three years into an 11-year sentence for stealing £25,000 from a Securicor van in Cardiff - using a stolen car which he then torched.

Five others were arrested this morning on suspicion of money laundering, possession with intent to supply, and harbouring an escaped prisoner.

Detectives believe Waite committed further crimes while using a forged passport to travel between Spain, the Netherlands and the UK under the names of Michael Birch and Lee Lawton.

But they put out a new appeal to find him in March after a possible sighting in Leeds’ East End Park suggested he had gone home to receive medical treatment for an ongoing liver condition.

Detective inspector Neil Hollis, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Waite is an organised criminal who has been wanted for seven years.”

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