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Paul Maxwell, Convicted Killer, On The Loose After Disappearing In Rochdale

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Police have warned the public to "be on their guard" as they hunt a convicted killer on the run from jail.

Paul Maxwell, 49, disappeared while visiting Rochdale town centre on Friday with prison staff.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1996 for the murder and robbery of 85-year-old Joe Smales in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Police urged members of the public to be cautious if they suspect they recognise Maxwell and to not approach him, but call them immediately.

Detective Superintendent Jon Chadwick, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "It has now been more than 24 hours since Maxwell has absconded and our inquiries to trace him are ongoing.

"We are pursuing a number of leads and we will continue to explore every possible avenue in finding him.

"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."

Maxwell is described as white, about 5ft 7ins, of medium build with short brown hair and blue eyes.

He wears glasses and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a grey fleece top and white training shoes. He was also wearing a Deerstalker hat at the time.

Maxwell is now known to have links to the Denton, Rochdale and Middleton areas of Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire areas.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or 0161 856 4473 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.