AN MP last night called for a change in Government policy as a manhunt continued for a violent Bradford prisoner who absconded from an open jail.

Ian Stirzaker, who is serving a seven-and-a-half years sentence for beating a vulnerable man unconscious, failed to return to HMP Hatfield in Doncaster on Sunday after being allowed out on day release.

The 35-year-old was jailed in July 2011 at Bradford Crown Court for inflicting grievous bodily harm on Darren Swan.

It is the latest in a number of high-profile cases of prisoners failing to return from day release to Hatfield Prison in the last few months.

Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies urged the Government to act to prevent dangerous criminals being placed in open prisons.

He said: "It is a scandal. It is outrageous, as far as I am concerned.

"The police are catching these people, the courts are sending them to prison, and then they are in an open prison where they can just walk out.


"The least people can expect is to be safe from these type of people. To be in an open prison where they can walk out of the gates is a scandal.

"The Government needs to get a grip on this."

He added: "No-one knows where he is, but I know where he should be - in prison.

"The public needs to be protected from violent offenders like this. It is putting people at risk of being the victim of another violent crime."

Bradford East Liberal Democrats MP David Ward, in whose constituency Stirzaker committed the attack, was more cautious.

He said: "There is obviously a story behind it that we are not aware of. It is easy to jump to assumptions and conclusions.

"I know very well that they take very great care to make sure that the public is safe. It is a tough job and there are difficult decisions to be made, and sometimes it does not work out."

Mr Ward added: "It sounds as if he was guilty of a heinous crime for which he was serving time. It is a hugely difficult decision to make when deciding if someone is okay for release. Sometimes they will make the wrong decision."

Police in South Yorkshire have joined forces with West Yorkshire Police to hunt for Stirzaker, and are appealing for help from the public.

Stirzaker is white, 5ft 8ins, with brown hair. He was last seen wearing a white tee-shirt, black jogging bottoms and white trainers

In July 2011, the Telegraph & Argus reported that Mr Swan needed life-saving surgery to remove his ruptured spleen after the brutal attack by Stirzaker and Lee Lock.

The attack happened after Stirzaker had lured Mr Swan to a house on Spinkwell Close, Undercliffe, on November 17, 2010.

Mr Swan, who had drug and alcohol addiction problems, was beaten senseless in the kitchen at Spinkwell Close after failing to take the rap when Lock was caught with drugs, the court heard.

He suffered multiple injuries and spent three weeks in Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Anyone with information on Stirzaker's whereabouts has been urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 990 of August 10, 2014.