A manhunt for Birkby fire killer Shakiel Amir Shazad is West Yorkshire Police’s number one priority.

Detective Supt Lisa Griffin told the Examiner at a press conference this lunchtime her team have all resources available to trace Shazad who was allowed out of HMP Sudbury on work licence yesterday and absconded.

Shazad, pictured after his initial arrest, was part of a gang who killed eight people in an horrific firebomb attack on a house in Osborne Road in Birkby in 2002.

Shakiel Amir Shazad
Shakiel Amir Shazad
 

Det Supt Griffin said: "Finding Shazad is a top priority for the force and we are putting full resources into tracing his whereabouts.

“This man was convicted of eight counts of manslaughter in relation the house fire at Osborne Road in Birkby in 2002.

“It is imperative that we find him and place him back behind bars to serve the full sentence for what was a terrible crime.

“It claimed the lives of five children and three adults, leaving a family and a community absolutely devastated.”

Shazad is described as Asian, around 5ft 6ins tall with short black hair, a beard and brown eyes.

She added:“He is known to have connections in Huddersfield, however; we are working closely with Derbyshire Constabulary and keeping an open mind as to where he may be.”