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Robber who attacked South Norwood garage owner escapes from prison

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A ROBBER who attacked and robbed a South Norwood garage owner has escaped from an open prison. Police are appealing for the public's help in finding Simon Marcus Rhodes-Butler, who escaped from Ford Prison in West Sussex on May 22. The 37-year-old was jailed for seven years in October 2011 after he and accomplice Ilyas Ismail attacked Gordon Weller at his business in Birchanger Road and snatched his £4,000 Rolex watch. Originally from Offord Road, Tottenham, Rhodes-Butler is known to have friends and family in London. Police are advising members of the public not to approach the offender but to call 999 if they see him. PC Steve Reed, of Sussex Police, said: "We have been looking for Rhodes-Butler for a week but without success so far. "We need to speak to anyone who might have an idea where he could be or where he has been staying. "If you have any information please contact us." Mr Weller spoke to the Advertiser in 2011 after Rhodes-Butler and Ismail were jailed. The Birchanger Garage owner, then 62, recalled how he was held in a headlock before breaking free and calling police. Officers arrested the attackers moments later after they had fled into the car park of a block of flats and found themselves trapped. A police dog sniffed out the Rolex, which the robbers had buried in a flowerbed. Mr Weller added at the time: "My neck hurt for a while after that. "I kept thinking about it, although I try not to now. "It's good to see that they didn't just get a slap on the wrist." - Anyone who sees Rhodes-Butler should call 999 immediately

Robber who attacked South Norwood garage owner escapes from prison


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