On the Run
The housing estate where Hutchinson grew up has nearby woodlands. Police believe it’s the most likely route he’ll take:
“To get to his mother’s, Arthur would have to come through the field area...There’s so many abandoned farm buildings… wooded areas where anyone could hide with ease.”
-Dick Copeman, Detective Chief Inspector, Cleveland Police
5 November 1983 is a cold, misty day.
Hundreds of police and dogs flood the area
As the light starts to fade, the police intensify their searches trying to flush Hutchinson out. Hutchinson believes his injured knee urgently requires medical treatment. He can’t risk hospital and hopes that his mother will make it all all right.
What he doesn’t know is that the injury isn’t as deadly as the police have made him believe.
A local farmer, George Bailes goes out to feed his dogs and check on his cattle:
“And when I went back inside the wife says ‘did you see him?’
And I said ‘see who?’
And she said ‘Hutchinson’”
Hutchinson breaks for home. He runs along the hill and straight to his mother’s house. Sensing the huge deployment of manpower sent to corner him, he hides in a copse. Police dogs soon flush him out.
He pulls out his knife and makes a final run for home. Fittingly, it is the pursuing dog section that takes down the self-styled ‘Fox.’
Perhaps even more fittingly, in the ensuing struggle to apprehend him, Arthur ‘The Fox’ Hutchinson stabs himself with his own knife.
If Hutchinson hadn’t really needed medical help before, he does now.
Britain’s most wanted man is taken away in an ambulance.
The hunt that spanned 39 days and 9 counties ended just a stone’s throw away from his mother.
“I knew that he’d go back and see his mother because he had nowhere else to go. He was a mammy’s boy see?”
Dino Reardon, Hutchinson’s half brother
Taken to Stockton Police office, Hutchinson is allowed to see the mother for whom he’d risked all. The days and nights of living rough had not been kind to him.
“She explained that she didn’t even recognise him as being her son. He’d changed his appearance so much.”