Detectives today appealed for the murderer of a teenage boy who has gone on the run after escaping from prison to hand himself in.
Alan John Giles fled from an ‘open’ section of HMP Hewell, near Redditch, Worcestershire, on Monday.
At a press conference this afternoon, West Mercia Police said that Giles would have been eligible for parole next year and made a direct appeal for the 56-year-old.
Giles, originally from Oldbury, was jailed in 1997 at Birmingham Crown Court for murdering 16-year-old Kevin Ricketts in 1995.
Police believe the convict is in the Redditch or south Warwickshire area.
A team of 30 detectives and other police officers, including some from West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Police forces, are currently working on the investigation to find him.
West Midlands Police press conference on the Oldbury murderer who has escaped from prison:
Chief inspector Paul Judge of West Mercia Police: "We're keeping an open mind as to where Alan Giles currently is. We're urging the public not to approach him.
"We have no specific information that gives us grave concerns for members of the public. We don't know what his intentions are.
"We're concerned for his welfare and state of mind. We're keeping an open mind on that. There is the potential he could cause harm for himself.
“We are leaving no stone unturned in order to find Giles and we will provide whatever resources are required in order to achieve that. I would also urge anyone who is helping him or sheltering him to contact us without delay.”
Giles was last checked in his cell at 6am on Monday morning. By 11am he was no longer at the prison.
He is believed to be wearing a grey Rockport sweater, blue jeans and white Asics trainers.
He has tattoos of an eagle on his back and a swallow, shark and flower on his left arm.
He has had recent contact with family in the West Midlands and most of his friends and associates are in the same area.
Twitter user LADette last night posted on the site that Kevin had been her uncle.
And she told fellow social network users her family had been told to stay in their houses until Giles was found.
She said: “Had a few people asking about this so just to confirm yes the news about the escaped prisoner does involve my family.
“He kidnapped and murdered my uncle and he’s out.
“He has been missing for over 24 hours now and people need to know. Please contact the police if you see him. My family’s safety is at risk.”
He became the ninth killer in the UK to be put behind bars despite no trace of a victim’s body. He was jailed for kidnap and murder in 1997. However, in 1998, Giles phoned police from his cell to confess to the killing and where he had buried the body.
After spending hours carefully excavating earth in the back garden of a house in leafy Gough Road, Edgbaston, forensic anthropologists managed to recover a body that had been concealed five feet below the surface and hidden by thick undergrowth. Dental records and X-rays confirmed that the body was Kevin’s although the body was too badly decomposed to establish a cause of death.
A court case heard Giles had killed the teenager in revenge after his common-law wife Elizabeth Ricketts, Kevin’s sister, had ended their seven-year relationship. He had examined the route the teenager would have taken to South Birmingham College where he was a carpentry student.
Kevin, of Four Acres, Quinton, was supposed to catch a bus just 100 yards from his home to meet a friend in Harborne. But at about 7am on January 31, 1995, as he left home to go to college, Giles abducted him. An inquest ruled the teenager had most likely been strangled by Giles.
At Kevin’s inquest, a transcript was read out of the interview between Giles and police.
It read: “I don’t know whether I grabbed him with one hand or two hands.
“You just lose it. I probably grabbed him round the throat.
“A struggle broke out. I left him on the ground, where I showed you, in the garden.”
He went on to say that he had hit the student with a piece of wood, but it was not clear whether that had killed him.