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Murderer on run from open prison.

POLICE are hunting a killer who absconded from an open prison 25 years after being jailed.

Gary Gibbon, 43, was given a life sentence at Teesside Crown Court in 1985 for the murder of Nat Cook.

But police have today revealed that Gibbon disappeared from HMP Sudbury open prison, in Derbyshire, on Friday.

The offender, originally from Jude Place, Peterlee, killed 43-year-old Mr Cook by slashing his throat with a broken bottle.

His body was found near his home in Thames Road, Peterlee.

Police said Gibbon is white, 5ft 8ins, with a shaved head and blue eyes.

He has a County Durham accent and has several scars and tattoos. It is believed he may return to his native North-east.

A prison service spokesperson said: "HMP Sudbury prisoner Gary Gibbon absconded on February 5. This is now a police matter."

On the matter of open prisons the spokesman added: "The National Offender Management Service will always look to make best use of the open estate to reduce re-offending and protect the public, and so its use is strictly limited to those prisoners who pass the risk assessment, who represent a low risk to the public and of absconding.

"The number of absconds from open prison is at its lowest level since centralised reporting of this type of incident began in 1995.

"Over 96% of prisoners who do abscond are re-captured and returned to custody. On re-capture, the prisoner will be returned to a closed prison and referred to the police for consideration for prosecution for having been unlawfully at large."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0345 1233333.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2010
Words:271
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