Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Sunday, 4 October 2009 13:50 UK

Escaped man is convicted killer

James Stevenson
James Stevenson has been on the run since Friday

A man who fled court after being handed a five year jail term for a firearms offence had previously served time for killing a man.

James Stevenson, 29, remains on the run after escaping from Swansea's Guildhall building on Friday.

In 2002, Stevenson admitted killing his mother's boyfriend by stuffing newspaper in his mouth and gagging him. He then dumped the body in a river.

Police have warned that Stevenson should not be approached by the public.

Officers have been hunting for Stevenson since Friday afternoon when he managed to escape court after being handed a five year jail term for breaching the terms of his licence and possessing a .410 shotgun.

It is thought he managed to leave a basement custody suite at the Guildhall building before fleeing.

Police said he absconded at about 1300 BST. On escaping from the court, he made his way in the direction of Oystermouth Road in the direction of Swansea beach.

Police were at the scene within minutes and the South Wales Police helicopter was also used to try and trace him.

The private security firm Reliance had been responsible for transporting him from court to Cardiff prison where he was being held.

It has launched an investigation into how Stevenson was able to escape and are working with police to return him to custody.

Prisoner description

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "All agencies concerned are co-operating fully with the police to bring this incident to a conclusion. This is a matter for South Wales Police."

The court building he absconded from is often used as an overspill for the nearby main court.

Stevenson of the Dyfatty area of the city is described as white, 5ft 10in, of medium build, clean-shaven, with a ruddy complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes.

He was wearing a navy tracksuit top with white stripes on the arms and blue jeans.

He has a tattoo of a Chinese dragon on the back of his neck and part of his right ear is missing.

A police spokesman said: "Members of the public are advised not to approach this man."

Anyone with information can contact police on 999 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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