Warning as sex offender escapes

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Police issued a warning to the public yesterday after a convicted paedophile escaped from a supervised outing to a children's adventure park.

Scotland Yard said that Trevor Holland, 52, was being accompanied by a male nurse yesterday on a half-day trip to Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, when he escaped.

Holland, a patient at an NHS-run secure unit in Hertfordshire, is violent and should not be approached, police said.

Describing Holland, they said he has a nervous twitch, leans to the right as he walks, and covers his ears when approached. He is 5ft 10in tall, with grey hair and a Lancashire accent.

Thomas Freeman, the chief executive of the Horizon NHS Trust, which was in charge ofHolland, said that Holland had previous convictions from 1992 and 1994 for indecency and attempted indecency on boys aged between 12 and 15. Holland had also been convicted in the past of sending obscene literature to children under the age of 16, as well as assault and affray, Mr Freeman added.

Holland had, he said, been sent to the Eric Sheppard Unit at Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, in May after absconding from a less secure unit where he was sent in January after being convicted of affray at a pub in Oxfordshire. He was ordered to attend the unit under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

The alarm was raised at 2.45pm after Holland absconded from a pub near the adventure park after complaining of a stomachache. Security officials, police and nursing staff searched the park.

"After two hours of continual searching throughout the Park, the police were [reassured] he was not at the park," said a spokeswoman for Chessington World of Adventures.

"Staff at the park continued their vigilance and no person of this description was seen," she said. "Chessington World of Adventures would not knowingly permit people into the Park as part of [a] criminal rehabilitation programme."