Prisoner still at large after vanishing on Christmas Eve

A prisoner who went missing on Christmas Eve has still not been found, exactly 12 weeks later.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 9:00 am
Ashley Nathan Russell
Ashley Nathan Russell

Ashley Nathan Russell, aged 29, had been held at Maghaberry, but had been released under something called “rule 27”.

This usually means compassionate leave to visit sick family, but it is also believed to have been used as part of a bid to reduce prisoner numbers due to the risk of Covid-19 spreading in jail.

Under ‘offence’, the Department of Justice lists: “Burglary (dwelling), burglary with intent to steal, burglary (dwelling), criminal damage, fraud by false representation, breach of suspended sentence in Ct comp, criminal damage, fraud by false representation (production).”

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He is described as 1.71m tall (5ft6in), of brown complexion and with brown eyes, black hair, and a “medium” build.

He also has scars on his abdomen, right wrist, and lower back.

It was 12 weeks on Thursday this week since he vanished.

The PSNI said: “Police are actively seeking this individual and anyone with any information as to his whereabouts should contact police on 101 or submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via

“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at”

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