Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sex offender climbed fence to escape Winchfield hospital

Stephen Munden Image copyright Hampshire Police
Image caption Stephen Munden was last seen at a hospital at Winchfield, near Hook

A convicted sex offender climbed a fence to escape a secure hospital before going on the run, police have said.

Stephen Munden, 54, left the grounds of Mildmay Oaks in Winchfield, Hampshire, on Tuesday evening.

He is still at large despite a helicopter being used as part of an "extensive search".

Munden is described by police as a "vulnerable adult" with mental health treatment needs.

He was given a hospital order in 2014 after he was convicted for sexually assaulting a child and possessing indecent images of children.

Image caption Mildmay Oaks independent hospital was taken over by US company Partnerships in Care last month

Det Ch Insp Tim Rowlandson directly appealed for Mr Munden to contact Hampshire Police.

Hospital operators Partnerships in Care (PIC) said Munden's regime meant he was held in a locked ward inside the hospital and kept under supervision when outside.

The Care Quality Commission found failures in patient care when it inspected Mildmay Oaks, then managed by Vista Healthcare, in December and February.

At the end of March, the hospital was taken over by US company Partnerships in Care which runs 38 hospitals across the UK.

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