Politician have vented their anger after one of Huddersfield’s most notorious killers vanished from prison.
The leader of Kirklees Council, Clr Mehboob Khan, and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman have raised serious concerns.
Shakiel Shazad was serving 18 years for manslaughter and had been allowed out of category D Sudbury Prison in Uttoxeter, Derbyshire, on a work licence.
His parole hearing, which had already sparked controversy, had been put back to the autumn.
That followed anger earlier this year following the freeing from jail of one of Shazad’s co-accused, Nazar Hussain, of Crosland Moor.
Clr Khan said: “I shall be writing to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, expressing my deep concern about what has occurred.
“How can you let someone who is serving 18 years for manslaughter escape like this just defies logic.
“People who get parking tickets and fail to pay their utility bills can end up in prison so how someone who has committed one of the most heinous crimes in living memory can end up in an open prison I do not know.
“I was absolutely shocked when I heard and so are many of my constituents.
“I still have flashbacks to what happened in Birkby and what the firefighters told me about how the mother died trying to protect her children is very distressing and will never leave me. My memories of it are still very strong.
“The Government says it is putting victims at the centre of the justice system and then you get something like this. This man is such an evil individual it just defies belief.
“He is a danger to the public and I was not aware that he was in an open prison.”
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who has campaigned for Shazad not to be released, added: “There is something really wrong with our criminal justice system when prisoners convicted of horrendous crimes are let out on licence despite objections from a forensic psychologist and probation.
“And we have still not found the perpetrator who ran away, probably to Pakistan.”
Muhammad Shafique, 41, who lost his mother, a brother and sister as well as five nieces, said he was shocked at Shazad’s absconding.
“The family are shocked, upset and concerned about what has occurred,” he said.
“I hope he is assigned to a more secure prison. Generally, we think that offenders of this nature should not be allowed to serve their sentence in these categories of prison.”