Appeal to trace prison absconder Mark Rutter

13 October 2011

John Rutter

Update 14th Oct 11:

North Yorkshire Police can confirm that Mark Rutter is now in police custody at Blackpool.

He was arrested by Lancashire Police at about 12.20noon today, Friday 14 October 2011.

He will be transported back to North Yorkshire in due course.


North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information to help trace a man who has absconded from a mental health hospital on the outskirts of York.

Mark John Rutter, 42, has not been seen since he left Stockton Hall Hospital, Stockton-on-the-Forest, at 10am on Wednesday 12 October 2011.

He was on a scheduled four-hour unescorted leave from the hospital and was heading to York, which he does once a week.

He usually takes the 10.10am bus from the village into the city, but it is unknown at this stage if he made that journey on Wednesday morning.

Mr Rutter has been at the hospital since 2005 following imprisonment in 1998. This was in relation to the murder of his mother in the Staffordshire area in 1997.

He has shown no cause for concern during this time and is described by staff as a “model patient” having made substantial progress in his rehabilitation.

The fact he has not returned to the hospital is out of character, and the fear is that he has come to harm rather than being a threat to others.

Officers would like to reassure the community that Mr Rutter poses a low risk to others, but the advice is still not to approach him.

Inspector Dave Sutcliffe, of the York Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

We are following a number of lines of enquiry to locate Mr Rutter and return him safe and well to Stockton Hall Hospital.

As part of these enquiries, we are appealing for anyone who may have seen him to contact the police as a matter of priority.

We realise local people may have concerns but there is nothing to suggest that Mr Rutter poses a danger to the public.

Nevertheless, we advise that he is not approached directly. Please just call the police if you think you recognise him from the photograph and description.

Mr Rutter is described as white, 5ft 11in tall, short dark brown hair, brown eyes with a medium build. When he was last seen he was wearing a blue and white jacket, grey tracksuit bottoms and trainers.

He has an interest in horse racing and is known to frequent betting shops in York.

Anyone who can assist the search for Mark Rutter should contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7, quoting reference number 12110173223.

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