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Greater Manchester Police involved in search for dangerous absconded prisoner

John Rooney

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed it is involved in the search for a man who escaped from prison in Aylesbury this morning.

47-year-old John Rooney left HMP Springhill at 6.30am. CCTV in the area shows him arriving at a bus station in Bicester, before entering a local Sainsbury's and buying a pay-as-you-go mobile phone but it's not clear where he travelled to after leaving the store.

Rooney is white, 5 foot 8 inches, slim and has brown hair. He has tattoos on his left arm, his left wrist, hand and fingers, as well as on his right hand. He also has letters tattooed on his right fingers and a scar on his right hand. He may also have other tattoos, particularly on his face, but these may not be visible. When he left the prison he was wearing a blue top, blue jeans and was carrying a bag.

On 23 May 2003, Rooney was sentenced to 20 years in prison at York Crown Court for offences including robbery, burglary and use of a firearm.

On 17 November 2003, Rooney was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to a further four years in prison for robbery, kidnap and false imprisonment committed in the Manchester area, with 20 further offences of robbery and burglary also taken into consideration.

There are grounds to believe he may pose a risk of harm to the public.

Chief Inspector Jim Troisi from Oldham police station said:

“Greater Manchester Police are supporting an investigation to find Rooney and we are working closely with our colleagues in Thames Valley CID and the Force Intelligence Bureau so that we can locate him as soon as possible."

“Whilst there is no intelligence at present to suggest that Rooney is in the Greater Manchester area, it is possible he may come back to the region due to links to Manchester, including family links in Oldham."

“If any members of the public see Rooney, then I would ask them please do not approach him directly, but call 999 immediately."

– Chief Inspector Jim Troisi, Oldham Police