AN ARMED robbery victim has criticised the authorities for allowing a criminal serving a life sentence to walk free from an open prison.

Mo Shah, 34, from Preston Drove, Brighton, said he “couldn’t understand” why convicted firearms criminal Kevin Brown was serving jail time at Ford Open Prison – despite being handed a life sentence in 2007.

Sussex Police is appealing for information on the whereabouts of Brown, 54, formerly of Upper Park Road, Bromley, after he absconded from the prison, near Arundel, on April 10.

Mr Shah, who was stabbed during an armed robbery at his convenience store in Brighton in 2010, said police reports that Brown was on the loose in the county made him “apprehensive”.

He said: “The person who stabbed me didn’t get a strong enough sentence and now we hear of category A prisoners walking out of open prisons – it’s not right.

“Ford is a prison for minor crimes, not hardened criminals. People who commit robbery, murders and so on are serious criminals and should be treated as such.”

The hunt for Brown is just one of at least eight cases where prisoners have walked out of Ford Prison between May 2010 and March 2013.

Detective Inspector Dave Wardley-Wilkins of Sussex Police said: “It has been more than a month since Kevin Brown walked out of Ford and we still do not know where he is.

“We need to speak to anyone who might have seen him.

“Brown committed very serious offences so has to be considered dangerous.”

A spokeswoman from the Prison Service said: “Open prisons perform a range of functions but notably to prepare long-sentenced prisoners for release.

“It’s right that people who have been in prison a long time are tested in this kind of environment before their eventual release.”

Anyone with details can call 101 quoting serial 732 of 10/4, email or call the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.