ODD THINGS, people. You never know where they'll turn up. Peter Wayne became an expert on Thomas Archer, the 17th-century architect, while serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery. He made friends with Richard Rogers and starred in a Channel 4 documentary, living proof of the healing power of art.
After being given parole last autumn to study for a History of Art degree at the Courtauld Institute, Wayne was expelled for not turning in enough essays. Earlier this year he was sentenced to a further three years, this time for credit card fraud.
Imprisonment, even the easygoing incarceration of Oxford low- security jail, proved too much for Wayne. While on a research visit to the county archive, to which he had been accompanied by two wardens, he excused himself, went to the loo, and disappeared. That was over a fortnight ago. Last Thursday, Wayne called an old newspaper pal, looking for a fiver and a hot dinner. Perhaps he'll turn up at the Captain's table. The fiver might be a problem, but you can count on a dram, Wayne.
Charles Nevin is on holiday.
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