Wanted rapist who absconded from prison may be living ‘off grid’, police say

Sean Phipps, who has convictions for rape and kidnap, has been missing since June 1 after absconding from HMP Leyhill in south Gloucester.

Wanted rapist who absconded from prison may be living ‘off grid’, police say

Police have re-issued an appeal to find a convicted rapist who absconded from prison over two months ago, warning he may be living “off grid”.

Sean Phipps, 51, failed to return to HMP Leyhill in South Gloucestershire after being released on a temporary licence to visit Bristol on June 1.

Phipps, who has convictions for kidnap and rape, is described as, white, 6ft 2in tall and slim.

Avon and Somerset Police said on Friday it has a dedicated team following up all reported sightings of Phipps, as well as coordinating with other forces across the country.

Phipps
Phipps may be camping in a rural area and surviving by foraging, police say (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

Phipps is known to walk or hitch-hike over long distances, and to steal bikes for transport, investigators said.

Avon and Somerset Police said Phipps has an interest in living off-grid, and may be camping out and foraging in rural areas.

The force said he may approach people to ask for water or for work as a casual labourer.

Or it said he may seek shelter in disused buildings in Bristol or other towns in the south west, and may be searching through bins for food.

Investigators said that Phipps had previously handed himself in when he knew he was wanted by police.

Anyone who sees him is asked not to approach him, and to call 999 immediately.

Anyone with any information about his whereabouts can contact police on 101, quoting reference number 5222130002.

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