A murderer on the run from an open prison for more than 17 years is one of eight absconders police are now looking for help to catch in a fresh appeal.

Timothy O'Leary is one of eight men Sussex Police are calling on help from the public to help track down after going missing from Ford Prison over the past two decades.

The fresh appeal comes as the force was heavily criticised for issuing a warning about convicted murderer Robert Donovan last week – four years after he went missing from Ford.

But police have denied this latest appeal is in response to the criticism it has received.

The appeal features three convicted murderers while the remaining men were jailed for violent or robbery offences.

Four of the men are subject of new appeals including Mr O’Leary who was jailed for life for the murder of a fellow traveller in Warwickshire in September 1981.

The 59-year-old, who also uses the name Timothy McCarthy, absconded from Ford in March 1997.

New appeals have also been launched for Christopher Street, 62, who has been missing for more than 12 years after leaving Ford while serving a seven year sentence for robbery and firearms offences committed in August 1999.

Also wanted are Steven Evans, who has been missing since May 2013 after walking out on an assault conviction after attacking a man with a metal bar in a Southend car park and Arben Nuredini, 39 and also known as Arben Alizoti, who was serving a seven year sentence in December 2004 for wounding when he absconded from Ford Prison just a month later.

Sussex Police have also reiterated appeals for information for missing murderers Robert Donovan who was given a life sentence in 1974 and Derek Passmore, 49, who walked out of Ford Prison on day release a year ago during a his life sentence for the murder of a man in a street in Middlesex in October 1996.

Also missing are post office robber David Blood, 48, who left the prison on Thursday June 12 this year and burglar Craig Hayler, 30, who absconded from Ford in March.

Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said: "We have assessed the cases of each and every prisoner who is currently wanted after absconding from Ford Prison and decided these men need our attention the most, considering how likely they could be to commit more crimes.

"We have no evidence that any of these men are a danger to the public but because of the offences they have previously committed we cannot rule it out.

"We need the public's help to track each and every one of them down and return them to custody.

"Some of the men may have absconded a number of years ago and may not have broken the law since then but justice has not been done in any of their cases as they still need to complete the sentences they were originally given.

"If you have any information at all about where they could be, please contact us."




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