An on-the-run killer last seen in Preston is “potentially unpredictable and should not be approached”, according to police.
Brian Lynch, 44, ran away from a prison officer while on his first day release trip from Kirkham Prison to Preston city centre on Thursday.
He has been in prison for 25 years after being convicted of the murder of Chi Keung Yip, 21, in Clayton Vale, Greater Manchester, in March 1988.
Originally sent to a Liverpool jail, Lynch was transferred to Kirkham Open Prison in December 2012, and was in the early stages of his reintroduction back into society, police said.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Gilbert said: “He is dangerous in that he’s a convicted murderer who has been in custody for 25 years.
“He is potentially unpredictable and I would urge members of the public to look out for him, but not to approach him. Let us do the work.”
Lynch was in the market area of Preston with a small amount of cash when he took an opportunity to run away at 3pm on Thursday.
DCI Gilbert added: “We believe he has tried to board a bus in Lancaster Road, but when asked for the fare, he’s run off again. There is another unconfirmed sighting of him in Stanley Grove, Penwortham, at 5.15pm that evening.
“He has no affiliation with the Preston area and I’d imagine that he would be trying to head back to Manchester where he is from, but may well be in a confused state and still be in Preston.
“We are looking at every possibility including studying CCTV footage.”
Lynch was originally sentenced to life imprisonment for the attack “with objects” on Mr Yip. The sentence carried a tariff of nine years, but this was lengthened because of his behaviour, police said.
DCI Gilbert added: “He was coming to the end of his sentence and the Prison Service had done assessments on how likely he was to abscond. They deemed that he was suitable for a gradual reintroduction back into society, and why he has absconded we don’t know.”
Lynch is described as five feet tall, of stocky build, with blue eyes, short, cropped ginger hair and may have ginger and grey stubble.
He was wearing black trousers, a black jacket and dirty grey suede and leather trainers.
Information can be passed to local police either in person or on 101 or information can be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.