Alfred Hinds was a British criminal born in 1917 who escaped from three different high security prisons while serving a 12-year sentence for robbery.
Hinds grew up in a children’s home following his father’s death, who died while receiving corporal punishment for armed robbery. Arrested himself for petty theft, Hinds escaped an institution for teenage delinquents. After deserting the British Army during the Second World War, he continued his criminal career and was eventually arrested for a jewellery robbery in 1953 and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
During his sentence, Hinds escaped from Nottingham Prison, Chelmsford Prison, and the Law Courts after bringing a lawsuit against authorities charging the prison commissioners with illegal arrest. While eluding Scotland Yard, Hinds continued to plead his innocence, sending memorandums to British MPs and granting interviews and taped recordings to the press, but his final appeal before the House of Lords in 1960 was denied (after a three-hour argument by Hinds) and he returned to serve 6 years in Parkhurst Prison. In 1964, Hinds won a £798.98 settlement in a libel suit against the arresting officer Herbert Sparks.
In 1966, Hinds published a personal account of his escapes and his clashes with the English legal system, titled Contempt of Court. His notorious jail breaks from three high-security prisons and his successful libel case earned Hinds celebrity status. He soon became a sought-after speaker criticizing the English legal system.