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Search after prisoner absconds

Police have released the image of a man who is wanted for absconding from an open prison over the weekend.

Wayne McLeod, 36, went missing from Springhill Prison in Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, between 5.15pm and 8.15pm yesterday, Thames Valley Police said.

Police believe McLeod may be in Reading, Berkshire, but did not did not say why he was serving a jail term.

McLeod is black, 5ft 11in, heavily built with brown eyes, and is clean shaven with black, cropped hair, police said.

Members of the public have been asked to call police on 101, quoting 1403 of May 25, or Crimestoppers on 0800 55511, if they see McLeod or know of his whereabouts.

McLeod is the third prisoner to abscond over the bank holiday weekend after two men went missing from Hollesley Bay prison in Woodbridge, Suffolk, within 48 hours of each other.

On Saturday, Hollesley Bay contacted Suffolk Constabulary just after 1pm reporting that 49-year-old Paul Oddysses had left the premises at around 12.30pm.

Oddysses, who was serving a life sentence for attempted robbery and robbery with a firearm, is described as white, around 5ft 6ins, of thin build, with brown hair, brown eyes and clean shaven.

Lewis Powter was found to have absconded from the same prison at 8.30pm yesterday.

The 30-year-old, who has a Dennis the Menace tattoo on his right arm, was last seen at 6.50pm and was not present for the 8pm roll check, police said.

He was serving an indeterminate sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent, and is described as white, around 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with brown hair, blue eyes and is clean shaven.

The last time Powter was seen he was wearing a blue jumper with a white t-shirt underneath, blue jeans and white Ralph Lauren trainers.

He has connections in the Cambridgeshire area, police said.

Following Oddysses's disappearance, a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The Justice Secretary has been clear that keeping the public safe is our priority and has ordered immediate and major changes to tighten up temporary release processes and open prison eligibility.

"Absconds have reached record lows under this Government - down 80% over the last 10 years - but each and every incident is taken seriously, with the police contacted as a matter of urgency.

"Open prisons and temporary licence are an important tool in rehabilitating long term offenders but not at the expense of public safety."


From Belfast Telegraph