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28 August 2012, 09:12
Police are trying to track down a prisoner who's gone missing from Kirklevington Prison near Yarm.
34 year old Bernard Lee Sharkey didn't go back to Kirklevington Prison after being let out to do community service at nearby Newham Grange Farm in Coulby Newham
Sharkey was last seen at 12.30pm on Thursday 23rd August - he was serving an indeterminate sentence for threats to kill, affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
He's described as 5 foot 9 inches tall with short cropped brown hair, blue eyes, of proportionate build.
He has a scar on the left hand side of his top lip and he has a Celtic band tattoo on his upper left arm.
He was last seen wearing a red striped polo shirt and grey jogging bottoms.
Bernard Sharkey has family in the Grangetown area and family and friends in the Morpeth area.
Police are warning members of the public not to approach him but to contact 999 immediately.
Acting Superintendent Rob Donaghy said:
"We know that Bernard Sharkey was picked up from Newham Grange Farm in a silver coloured saloon car.
He has been deemed as low risk by the prison which is why he has been working in the community and is in a resettlement prison.
Information has come to light after he has gone missing that he may pose a risk to a known individual.
That person has been contacted and measures put in place to ensure their safety. However it is important to stress we do not believe he poses a risk to the wider public.
He does have convictions for violence and possession of an offensive weapon, so we would urge members of the public to call 999 if they see him and not to approach him. If you have information about his whereabouts, please contact the non-emergency number 101.
We have a dedicated team of detectives and uniform officers working on the case and following up any sightings.
We believe he is likely to still be in the North East and my message would be to Bernard to hand yourself in. It's not too late. It's only a matter of time before we trace you, it is better for you to come to us, rather than us find you."