ONE of March Whitemoor Prison’s most memorable and charismatic governors has been hitting the national headlines this week.
Brodie Clark, who was governor of the Fenland jail during the time of the infamous IRA escape bid, has resigned from his latest post as Head of the UK Border Force.
He made his decision to resign from the job he has held since April 2008 following accusations that he was responsible for relaxing passport checks at Britain’s borders.
In a vitriolic statement Mr Clark, who had only been at the top security prison in March for 17 weeks before the break-out in September 1994, said he was unable to wait for internal inquiries into the controversy because Home Secretary Theresa May had made his position ‘untenable’.
Mr Clark had already set in motion a series of improvements to up security at the prison when six of inmates housed in the jail’s Segregated Secure Unit managed to pull off a daring escape bid using ladders and other equipment they had made inside the unit.
A prison guard was shot during the bust out on Friday September 9 1994 and a later report following an enquiry by Sir John Woodcock into the escape bid highlighted shocking lapses in security and a catalogue of issues including prison staff undertaking shopping trips for prisoners.
Mr Clark was tasked with turning the prison around and restoring its tarnished reputation before leaving in the late 1990s to join the UK Border Agency where he was put in charge of the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.
He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2010.