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Killer of Wakefield man escapes

Convicted killer Paul Maxwell

Convicted killer Paul Maxwell

The convicted killer of a Wakefield pensioner has absconded from custody while on day release from prison.

Paul Maxwell was jailed in 1996 for the murder of 85-year-old Joe Smales in Stanley and for robbery.

He disappeared while on day release with prison staff in Rochdale town centre on Friday, February 21. It is believed he still has links to the West Yorkshire area.

Maxwell, 49, is described as white, about 5ft 7in tall, of medium build with short brown hair and blue eyes. He also wears glasses. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a grey fleece top, white training shoes and a deerstalker hat.

Officers hunting the killer have warned people not to approach Maxwell but to call police immediately.

Det Supt Jon Chadwick said: “Because Maxwell may have limited access to money, he may surface in the areas he is known to have links to so I would urge people to be on their guard and if you see this man, please do not approach him but call police immediately.

“While we have no specific intelligence to say Maxwell is a threat to the public, he was convicted of the murder of a 85-year-old man and a robbery so if he does run out of money and becomes desperate, he may seek to commit further criminal acts. For that reason, it is important we warn people that Maxwell is still at large and ask that people are particularly vigilant at this time, particularly if you are or know an elderly person.

“I would ask anyone with information about where he currently is, has been or could be heading to contact us in confidence.”

Anyone who thinks they recognise Maxwell or has any information should call police on 101 or 0161 856 4473 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

 

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