Killer on the loose
Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 19 May 2014
A CONVICTED murderer is on the run for the third time after absconding on day release from prison.
Arnold Pickering (44), from Chadderton, was jailed for life in 1991 after stabbing a man to death in Oldham.
He and another inmate, Thomas Moffett (51), from Blackburn, in jail for a series of robberies, failed to return to HMP Kennet in Maghull on Saturday. Lancashire police later arrested Moffett in Blackburn.
The two men were believed to be suitable for temporary release on licence by the Ministry of Justice.
Pickering previously absconded in December 2009 after being let out of HMP Kirkham while taking part in a prison service project in which prisoners emptied bins for Manchester City Council. He handed himself in four days later in Motherwell, Scotland.
Pickering had also previously escaped from the exercise yard of Strangeways Prison, Manchester.
Merseyside Police said they believe he could be in the Southport area.
Pickering is described as about 5ft 11in, of medium build and with blue eyes. He has tattoos on his arms and chest.
Officers are appealing to anyone with any information to call Merseyside Police on either 0151 777 3803 or 0151 777 3891.
Pickering was jailed for life for stabbing to death Thomas Leigh (53), from Holts, in 1990 and given a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 18 years.
Peter McParlin, chairman of the Prison Officers Association (POA), said: “We have been saying for many years now that we have overcrowding and people are being put into open conditions who are unsuitable for open conditions.
“There is immense pressure on the system and it is clear to me that the tick box mentality that goes into transferring prisoners to open conditions has failed the public.”
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