Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting EJ NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Dangerous prisoner on the run
A PRISONER jailed for a vicious attack on an off-duty police officer is on the run after absconding from jail.
Matthew Sharp, aged 25, who is originally from Worcester and had lived in Maple Avenue in Tolladine, walked out of HMP Leyhill in Bristol at 4pm on Monday, June 25.
He had been jailed for an indefinite period for administering what an appeal judge called “a severe beating” to his victim, an off-duty detective, in May 2007.
The victim had taken pictures of a car being driven recklessly on a playing field in Bromsgrove where there had been reports of joy-riding.
Sharp and another man went after the officer, punching him to the ground and stamping on his head, leaving him with a fractured jaw.
Sharp admitted grievous bodily harm, and was told he had to serve at least 20 months of a 40-month term because of the risk he posed to the public.
He later failed in an appeal against the severity of his sentence.
Sharp, who also previously lived in Alderley Road, Bromsgrove, is now being hunted by West Mercia Police and Avon & Somerset Constabulary, who are warning people not to approach him.
Detective Inspector Jim Fox, of Worcester CID, who is leading the search locally for Sharp said he wanted the public’s help to catch him.
“We believe that he could be in the Worcestershire area,” he said.
“If anyone spots him, I recommend they do not approach him but dial 999 immediately.”
He warned anyone found to have been harbouring or assisting Sharp would also be dealt with.
Anyone with information on Sharp’s whereabouts is urged to call police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said open category jail prisoners were “rigorously risk assessed and categorised as being of low risk to the public.
"Over 96 per cent of prisoners who abscond are re-captured and returned to custody,” she added.
“On recapture a prisoner will be returned to a closed prison and referred to the police, where they could face further charges."