Public warned ‘not to approach’ Homerton mental health escapee

Police have released this picture of escapee Anthony Knowles

Police have released this picture of escapee Anthony Knowles - Credit: Archant

Another dangerous patient has fled a Homerton mental health facility, and police are warning the public not to approach the man.

Anthony Knowles, 48, disappeared from the John Howard centre in Homerton on Saturday, which has seen more than 200 patients go missing in recent years.

Knowles, 5’8” and with a “noticeable limp” absconded just a month after convicted rapist Samuel Lee, 44, fled from the same facility.

Police have urged the public to call 999 if anyone sees Knowles, who has tattoos on both arms and a scar on his left eyelid. He was last seen wearing a black cap and a light grey tracksuit.

The centre, which specialises in caring for prisoners with personality disorders, has been the subject of multiple investigations due to the number of escapes.


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Knowles now joins a list of dozens of escapees, including Lerone Boye, convicted in 2012 for the murder of 17-year-old Kelvin Chibueze, as well as sex offender James Manley in 2003, child-kidnapper Shane Hart in 2009 and Shane Smith, convicted of beating and raping a schoolgirl, in 2012.

A spokesman from the John Howard Centre said: “Patients may be allowed periods of time outside the unit, as part of an individual’s rehabilitation and planned treatment programme.

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“This only happens after a comprehensive risk assessment. This is reviewed prior to each episode of leave.

“If a patient who has been granted leave does not return at the agreed time, we have clear processes for our staff to follow to ensure their safe return to the unit.”

Anyone with information should contact the police.

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