An armed robber from Sheffield who absconded from jail while on day release remains at large.
Nicholas Overton, aged 35, failed to return to the prison in Cheshire where he was being held as he serves an 18-year term.
Overton was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court in 2006 after admitting 23 shop robberies across five counties in which a handgun was used to threaten staff.
When sentenced, Overton – who has previous convictions for theft, deception, possession of heroin, perverting the course of justice, burglary and knifepoint robbery – was described as ‘a significant risk’ to the public.
Police said victims of the spate of shop robberies ‘thought they were going to be shot and were in fear for their lives’.
Overton, of no fixed abode, must serve at least eight-and-a-half years before possible release on licence.
The Prison Service said he was out of jail as part of ‘preparations for eventual release’ but has disclosed no further information.