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31 March 2015, 15:54
North Yorkshire Police have asked for urgent help to locate a convicted murderer who has breached his prison release licence. The force said William Kerr, 53, needs to be arrested and returned to prison ''as a matter of urgency''.
The force warned members of the public, saying: ''If they see him, people are asked not to approach him but instead to call the police immediately on 999.''
A spokesman said Kerr was jailed for life for murder at Leeds Crown Court on June 26 1998, and released on licence on January 23 this year. He said the National Offender Management Service contacted North Yorkshire Police for assistance after Kerr absconded from approved premises in Hull.
His current whereabouts are not known; however, he is known to have links to the Humberside, West Yorkshire and London areas. North Yorkshire Police are leading the hunt for Kerr as his probation officer is based in Selby but the spokesman said there is no evidence to suggest that he is currently in the county.
He said: ''Officers are currently conducting extensive inquiries to locate him as a matter of urgency.'' Detective Inspector Eamonn Clarke, of North Yorkshire Police, said: ''To assist our already extensive efforts to trace William Kerr, I am urging people to keep an eye out for the man in the photographs. ''We ask that you do not approach Kerr, as he is considered dangerous. You should contact the police straight away on 999 and officers will be despatched to arrest him or investigate the sighting.''
Mr Clarke said he is also appealing directly to Kerr. The officer said: ''William, you know you have breached your licence conditions, and by continuing to do so you are only making things worse. It is now time to do the right thing and hand yourself in to the police.''
He urged anyone with information to call 999 and pass details to North Yorkshire Police stating the ''William Kerr appeal''. He said people could also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting North Yorkshire Police reference number 12150049525 and saying it is ''urgent''.
Kerr was jailed along with co-defendant Christopher Moody for the murder of 43-year-old Maureen Comfort, whose body was found in a cupboard in her flat in Leeds. According to court papers, she was last seen alive on December 4 1995, and her body was found by relatives on January 8 1996. She had been strangled.