A sex offender who is on the run after absconding from prison has been refused parole five times.
Paul Robson is serving a life sentence for attempted rape and indecent assault but was reported missing from HMP North Sea Camp, in Lincolnshire, on Sunday.
He has been described as a “particular danger to women and young children” but was deemed fit to serve his sentence in an open prison following a Parole Board recommendation in February 2021.
Lincolnshire Police have warned the public not to approach Robson, 56, adding that he “can cause real harm to anyone he comes across”.
Robson has been refused release from prison five times but in his last parole hearing it was recommended that he move to a Category D open prison.
The convicted sex offender was born in Newcastle and was jailed in Oxford Crown Court in 2000 after he entered a woman’s home through a cat flap. He then tied his victim up, put a pillowcase over her head, and assaulted her while holding a knife to her throat.
He was handed a life sentence with a minimum of nine years but has spent an additional 11 years in prison.
Robson is described as a white male with a bald head, a long goatee beard and of a slim build.
Labor and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the Parole Board has “serious questions to answer” following the decision to allow him to serve his sentence in an open prison.
A spokesman for the Parole Board said: “The Parole Board refused the release of Paul Robson but recommended a move to an open conditions prison following an oral hearing in February 2021.
“This was a recommendation only and the Secretary of State for Justice considers the advice before making the final decision on whether a prisoner is suitable for open conditions.
“We will only make a recommendation for open conditions if a Parole Board panel is satisfied that the risk to the public has reduced sufficiently to be manageable in an open prison.
“A move to open conditions involves testing the prisoner’s readiness for any potential return into the community in future. Prisoners moved to open conditions can be returned to closed conditions if there is concern about their behaviour.”
The decision to transfer Robson to open conditions was taken before Mr Raab’s appointment as Justice Secretary, which came in September last year.
HMP North Sea Camp is a category D prison which holds a large proportion of sex offenders and those serving indeterminate sentences.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Cox said: “We are still working tirelessly to locate Paul Robson and are still working through numerous lines of inquiry.
“He could be anywhere in the country, and we are really keen to hear from the public with potential sightings so we can take this man off our streets.
“Robson is a dangerous sex offender and while he presents a particular danger to women and young children, I believe he can cause real harm to anyone he comes across.
“If you see Robson, please do not approach him, and do not try to apprehend him yourself. Call 999 immediately.”