Leyhill rapist who absconded might be living 'off-grid'

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Absconder Sean PhippsImage source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Police said people should not approach Phipps

A convicted rapist who absconded from prison in June might be living off-grid, police have warned.

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

It is thought the 51-year-old, who has convictions for rape and kidnap, could still be in the Bristol area.

Avon and Somerset Police said anyone who spots Phipps should not approach him but should call 999.

He is described by police as white, measuring 6ft 2ins tall and as being of slim. build.

Image source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
Phipps was adept at living rough, police said

A dedicated team of officers has been following up all reported sightings of Phipps and liaising with other police forces across the country.

Investigators said he was known to walk or hitch-hike over long distances, and has stolen bicycles for transport in the past.

Phipps has an interest in living off-grid, and might be camping out and foraging in rural areas and could approach people to ask for work as a casual labourer, police warned.

Avon and Somerset Police said he might seek shelter in disused buildings in Bristol or the surrounding counties, and had been known to search through bins for food.

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