A FUGITIVE could be on the run in Morpeth.
Police have issued an urgent appeal for information about the whereabouts of Bernard Lee Sharkey, who failed to return to Kirklevington Prison following work in the community.
The 34-year-old, who has family and friends in Morpeth, was last seen at Newham Grange Farm in Coulby Newham at 12.30pm on Thursday when he was picked up in a silver saloon car.
The prisoner was serving an indeterminate sentence for threats to kill, affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
Officer are in contact with someone who may be at risk, but they do not believe Sharkey poses a threat to the wider public.
However, they have urged people not to approach him and dial 999 immediately if they see him.
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.”
He added: “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.”
Sharkey, who also has family in Grangetown, is described as 5ft 9 ins tall, with short cropped brown hair, blue eyes and is of proportional build.
He has a scar on the left side of his top lip and a Celtic band tattoo on his upper left arm. He was last seen wearing a red striped polo shirt and grey jogging bottoms.