Everything we know about the "violent" fugitive murderer on the run in Lancashire after fleeing life sentence in prison

A manhunt is underway to capture a convicted murderer who is on the run from a Lancashire prison.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 2:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 11:41 am
Thomas Parkinson, 31, formerly of Acacia Street, Preston, was ten years into a life sentence for murder before he absconded from HMP Kirkham on April 24.

Thomas Parkinson, 31, formerly of Acacia Road, Preston, is wanted after absconding from HMP Kirkham on Wednesday, April 24.

Parkinson - who police have described as "violent" - fled the open prison a week ago and the public are being warned not to approach him.

This is everything we know about the convicted murderer...

Thomas Parkinson, 31, formerly of Acacia Street, Preston, was ten years into a life sentence for murder before he absconded from HMP Kirkham on April 24.

Who is he?

Parkinson is 31-years-old and from Preston. He formerly lived at Acacia Road, off Miller Road in Ribbleton.

What does he look like?

He is described as white, 5ft 7in tall, of slim build with cropped brown hair and green eyes.

Where could he be?

Parkinson has links to the Warrington, Widnes and Bolton areas, as well as his home city of Preston.

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Why was he in prison?

Parkinson had been serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering a 23-year-old man at a home in Oakworth Avenue, Preston on August 11, 2006.

At his sentencing in April 2007, Preston Crown Court heard how a "drunk and aggressive" Parkinson had gatecrashed a party with two friends.

He had been asked to leave the house with his friends, but before doing so, he went to the kitchen and secretly took a large kitchen knife, concealing it in the waistband of his trousers.

After being thrown out of the house, the three men kicked the front door down and Parkinson charged into the home.

He then attacked a 23-year-old party guest Shaun Higgins with the stolen kitchen knife.

Mr Higgins, of Grange Avenue, Preston, staggered into the living room and collapsed on to a chair.

He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital where emergency surgery was carried out, but he was pronounced dead at 11.41pm on August 11.

“He had suffered a significant stab wound to his back, below the shoulder blade, which entered 12cm deep, fracturing a rib and entering the lung,” the court heard.

A pathologist stated that the wound must have been inflicted with “considerable force”.

What was his sentence?

Parkinson, then 19, initially plead not guilty but later changed his plea to guilty a month before sentencing.

Judge Russell said: “This was unprovoked and unnecessary violence. The sentence for murder is fixed by law – custody for life.”

The judge sentenced Parkinson to life in prison, meaning he must serve a minimum of 12 years before he can be considered for parole.

He had served ten years of his life sentence and was due for release in 2021 before he absconded from low-security HMP Kirkham on Wednesday, April 24.

Why has it taken police a week to inform the public?

Lancashire Police issued a public appeal to help capture Parkinson on Wednesday, May 1 - a week after he was reported missing from prison.

Police said "Parkinson could be violent" and are warning people not to approach him.

The Post asked police for comment on why it has taken seven days to warn the the public about a violent offender fleeing prison.

A spokesman said: "We were conducting address checks and other enquiries to locate him." What should I do if see him?

Police are urging the public to stay away from Parkinson and report his whereabouts immediately.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We would urge anyone with information about Parkinson’s whereabouts to contact us. “Parkinson could be violent and we would ask anyone who knows where is not to approach him but to call police immediately. “Furthermore, we would encourage Parkinson, if he sees this appeal, to do the right thing and come forward.” Anyone with information can call 101 or email [email protected] quoting log 0364 of April 24.