An escaped convict was taken in by university students who gave him a chocolate muffin, listened to rap music and convinced him to hand himself in.
Rapist Admi Headley, 34, was on the run from jail when he collapsed outside the home of Tom Phillips, 22, and Aidan Byrne, 21.
The University of Bristol students gave him a glass of water and let him sit in their living room after finding him sprawled on the ground by their front door.
It wasn’t until they’d been chatting for an hour that Headley told them about his sinister past – he had been behind bars for ten years for rape and robbery.
Three days earlier, on November 13, he was one of three inmates who absconded from HMP Leyhill in Wotton-under-Edge, Glos.
Instead of dialling 999, Tom and Aidan fed Headley his first hot meal since he went on the run – soup, a chicken kiev, pasta and a chocolate muffin.
And after learning he was a fan of rap music, they stayed up with him listening to Drake, Jay Z and Snoop Dogg – while he rapped every word.
Over three hours, Headley also confided in them through tears about his life in prison and how he hadn’t seen his ex-girlfriend or 12-year-old son for nine years.
So physics and philosophy undergraduate Tom handed him his mobile – and listened in as the convict had his first ever conversation with his son.
“Do you know who this is? It’s your father… I’m sorry that I haven’t been there for you, but when I come home I will do anything for you,” Headley reportedly said.
Half an hour later, accompanied by Tom and zoology student Aidan, he walked to the police station, gave them each a hug and handed himself in.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary confirmed that Headley attended a Bristol police station on the night of November 16 and handed himself in.
Tom said: “We don’t know what happened all those years ago and we didn’t discuss it that night.
“Any crime of that nature is horrific, however all we could see was the person in front of us.
“The person that I saw was someone who I felt needed food and water, and that is what we gave him.”
After the students showed Headley kindness, he told them: “You have been kind to me, boys, so I will be honest with you… I’ve just escaped from prison.”
He told the students that they could call the police but, keen to keep the situation calm and under control, they said they wouldn’t.
Instead, they cooked for him, listened to music and chatted for another two hours.
Tom said: “I didn’t consider kicking him out but it was in the back of my mind that at some point he would have to leave.
“I was desperately hoping that he would just go somehow, but he himself said, ‘I will be off in a minute’ – and he did eventually.”
He added: “He made the decision himself, although he asked us, ‘Do you think I should probably hand myself in?’ and we said yes.
“I said, ‘The sooner you’re in, the sooner you’re out. The longer you leave it, the worse it will be. We replied honestly to him.
“I think he was touched by the fact that we took him in and gave him food and water.”
Tom said he took Headley in after passing him in an alleyway near his house in Bristol and noticing that he was worryingly drunk after he collapsed on the ground.
He said: “We were just chatting and we were a bit uncomfortable because there was a
stranger in our house.
“But he was an interesting guy. He came from a culture that was completely different to ours.
“We didn’t feel like we were in danger at all. We were waiting for him to sober up.”
Over the course of their encounter, Tom said Headley broke down in tears as he confided in them about life behind bars and how he was restrained by guards.
He told them how after two years in prison, he converted to Islam and carried a set of prayer beads with him at all times.
They also noticed that he carried a contacts book with the name of every friend he’d made in jail, and the address and phone number of the friend’s mum.
At another point, he reportedly said: “I just want to enjoy this time that I’m out. It’s so hard in prison, boys. So hard. This is the best night of my life.”
Tom added: “If he ever gets hold of this article, we want to thank him.
“Now that I’ve reflected, I would like to thank him because he trusted us and he was honest with us and he gave in a very short time a huge amount to us.
“He gave his life story. That is no small thing.”