By Harriet Ernstsons Tuesday 29 October 2013 Updated: 01/11 08:01
A MURDERER has gone missing from HMP Hewell less than two-years since a high-profile escape.
The hunt was still continuing for Alan John Giles as the Standard went to press yesterday (Thursday) after he went missing from the open part of the Tardebigge prison on Monday (October 28).
Police believe he may have crossed the border into Warwickshire and could be sleeping rough in Alcester woodland.
Giles was serving two life sentences - a total of 19 years - for the murder and kidnap of 16-year-old student Kevin Ricketts in 1995. The 56-year-old would have been eligible for parole next year.
Giles is believed to have disappeared between 6am and 11am on foot after prison officers noticed he was no longer in his cell following a second morning check.
It is another setback for the prison and follows the escape from a prison van of John Anslow in January 2012 while being escorted to court.
Security concerns were also raised about the closed part of HMP Hewell earlier this year as well as criticism it was 'dirty and drug ridden' by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.
Karen Lumley MP, who is calling an urgent meeting with the governor to discuss the issue, said: "I've worked closely with the open side of the prison on several projects - there's some good work going on.
"We've obviously got a problem but it is an open prison and by its nature people go in and out on their own. There will need to be an investigation and while I don't know what happened here I want some assurances from the prison governor."
A Prison Service spokesman said the number of absconds from prison in 2012/13 was the second lowest since records began and people were rigorously risk assessed before being deemed suitable to be put in an open prison.
"Anyone who does abscond will be returned to a closed prison and may face further criminal charges."
Police were stepping up the hunt for Giles yesterday.
Ch Insp Paul Judge from West Mercia Police said although they had no 'grave concerns' they were worried about Giles' state of mind.
"We would like to reassure the Alcester community and other people living nearby there are a number of officers out and about in the area and we are doing all we can to get Alan Giles back in custody as soon as possible."
The public have been warned under no circumstances to approach Giles but instead to dial 999. He is described as white, 5ft 9in with short grey hair and blue eyes and a scar on the right of his forehead and another small one by his left eye. He also has tattoos of an eagle on his back and a swallow, shark and flower on his left arm.
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