Manchester

Sister fire attack: Wanted Stephen Archer sends birthday card to mum

Stephen Archer Image copyright GMP
Image caption Stephen Archer has links to the Openshaw, Marple and Romiley areas

A man who went on the run after allegedly setting fire to his sister has sent a birthday card to his mother.

Stephen Archer, 50, of Openshaw in Manchester, is a suspect in the attack at his 49-year-old sister's home which left the victim with 70% burns.

Detectives believe petrol was thrown over her before she was set alight.

Mr Archer's mother, Wendy, has made an appeal for her son to contact police after revealing she had received the greetings card.

She said: "Steve, I have got your card. I want you to know that no-one is controlling me and no-one is forcing me to send this message to you.

"I do not want any harm to come to you. Will you please contact the police."

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Police have released CCTV images of a man on a bike with a backpack leaving the scene after the attack

The victim is in a serious condition and fighting for her life in hospital.

A 19-year-old woman escaped uninjured from an upstairs window of the house with help from neighbours.

Greater Manchester Police had warned Mr Archer may be carrying several bottles of petrol. On Thursday petrol station workers were warned to be "extra vigilant" and alert the authorities if they see him.

CCTV of a man apparently fleeing the scene on a bicycle shortly after the attack has also been released.

Supt Arif Nawaz said: "The victim is still critically ill in hospital. We have followed several leads and have received some very helpful information but unfortunately we have still not found him.

"Stephen usually wears a baseball cap, and carries a large rucksack and is known to travel on a bicycle."

Image copyright GMP
Image caption The house was badly damaged in the fire

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