Belfast Telegraph

Alert as licensed offender vanishes

Police are warning the public not to approach a violent offender who has gone missing after being released from prison on licence.

Edward Stirling - who has previous convictions for false imprisonment, assault and possession of a firearm - was released on licence from HMP Stocken in Leicestershire yesterday morning.

He was due to travel by taxi and train to accommodation in Gloucester but he has failed to report to the address as directed.

Wiltshire Police are currently hunting the 46-year-old who is known to have links to the Swindon and Thames Valley areas.

Stirling has been assessed as a high risk and police are advising the public not to approach him but to immediately call officers via 999.

He is described as white, about 5ft 7in and of average build, with short cropped dark hair and speaks with a Northern Irish accent.

He also has tattoos, including a tiger head on his left arm and a saint symbol on his right arm.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: "Stirling was originally born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and has a history of committing violent offences.

"These include aggravated burglary, assault and false imprisonment. He has also been known to carry weapons."

Stirling was serving a sentence for an offence committed in the Thames Valley area, for which he was tried at Oxford Crown Court in May 2012.

"He was recently released on prison licence and was to remain on licence until November 2016. This was for possession of a firearm with intent to cause violence," a police spokesman said.

"Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have information as to his whereabouts. The public are advised not to approach Stirling but to immediately call police via 999."

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: " Offenders on licence must comply with a strict set of conditions to protect the public - and if they don't, they face going back to prison.

"We have toughened up sentences for offenders who go on the run after being recalled to custody and these criminals can now face an additional two years in prison."

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