02/10/2011 15:54 BST | Updated 02/12/2011 05:12 GMT

St John's House: Mental Health Patient Escapes Hospital And Is On The Run

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- A mental health patient is on the loose after breaking out of a secure hospital and injuring a nurse, police said.

Luke Sparks escaped from St John's House, in Palgrave near Diss, Suffolk,with two other patients, Ross Beeby and Jason Williams at around 1am, Suffolk Police said.

All three patients have "been through the criminal justice system", according to Mark Purcell, of Partnerships in Care, who run the hospital.

Beeby and Williams were detained by police after being found cycling along the A140 in Norfolk towards Diss at 2.20pm. "They were actually on their way back to the hospital when they were picked up," said Mr Purcell.

But 21-year old Sparks was still missing. Police are asking members of the public not to approach him, but to call 999 if they see him.

He is described as having short black hair, and is of average size and muscular. He was wearing a grey hooded top, grey shorts and black, grey and white Nike trainers.

The male nurse suffered a minor head injury during the escape but expressed his wish to return to work on Monday.

Police said they have conducted searches using specially trained dogs and a police helicopter.

The on-duty control room inspector said: "The helicopter costs us millions but it also saves us millions because it has infrared and heat-seeking equipment which means you don't have to put a load of officers on the ground."

St John's House has 40 beds and deals with patients with mental health problems, disabilities and learning difficulties.