Police appeal for two Irish murderers on-the-run from prison for years

Police appeal for two Irish murderers on-the-run from prison for years

BRITISH police are working with Gardaí to track down two murderers after they fled a notorious open jail, including a man who has been missing for 17 years.

Timothy O’Leary and Robert Donovan were among eight on-the-run inmates of Ford prison named by Sussex police this week.

O’Leary, 59, also known as Timothy McCarthy, has not been seen since he walked out of the prison in 1997. He was jailed for life in 1981 after killing a fellow traveller in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

Donovan, 57, who has previously gone under the name ‘David Green’, was jailed for life after stabbing a man in London’s West End in 1974, when he was 17-years-old. He left Ford prison on day release on June 19, 2010, and did not return.

Sussex Police told The Irish Post that it is working with An Garda Síochána to track down both men.

The British force is also working with Irish police to find some of the other 86 absconders it revealed have gone missing from HMP Ford in recent years.

It has not released details for 80 of the offenders.

Superintendent Lawrence Hobbs said that although Sussex Police had no evidence any of the eight men it named were a danger to the public, it was unable to rule it out.

He added: “We need the public’s help to track them down and return them to custody.”

The news comes as reports of another Irish absconder emerged in Derbyshire, where police appealed for help to find a man who went missing from HMP Sudbury.

Michael Fien McCarthy, who was convicted last year of wounding with intent, went missing from the Category D prison this week.

The 24-year-old, who has an Irish accent, is described as white, 5ft 11ins tall, of medium build, with short blond hair and blue eyes.

His last known address is in Hyson Green, Nottingham.

The new cases follow a number of high-profile absconders from British prisons that have led Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to bring forward reforms of the programme that allows inmates to leave jail on day release.

He said: "Prisoners will no longer be transferred to open conditions or allowed out on temporary release if they have previously absconded and there will also be no unrestricted 'town leave'."