Police Scotland hunting prisoner who escaped guards while at funeral

Police are hunting a prisoner who escaped from guards while at a funeral.

Jamie Ross managed to flee on Tuesday 23 April after being let out of prison on day release to attend a funeral.

The 29-year-old was last seen in Edinburgh around 12.28pm near the Cameron Toll shopping centre.

The prisoner transportation service GEOAmey said it was "disappointing" that Ross had exploited the funeral as an opportunity to escape.

Police said that Ross has connections across Edinburgh and in Aberdeen.

They warned he shouldn't be approached and described him as white, 5ft 9in with dark hair and bushy eyebrows, blue eyes and the word "Dad" tattooed on his right hand.

He was last seen wearing a black puffer jacket, dark trousers and grey trainers.

The Sun reported that Ross slipped his handcuffs and vanished at the end of the funeral.

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Scottish Prison Service rules say that day release is allowed for compassionate reasons which include funeral services - but not attached family gatherings.

A spokesperson for the prisoner transportation service said: "Our officers recognise the emotional significance of events such as funerals and try to show compassion and understanding whilst escorting persons in custody.

"It is therefore disappointing when this is abused and used as an opportunity to evade detention."

Chief Inspector Mark Hamilton of Police Scotland said: "Extensive inquiries are ongoing to trace Jamie with support from specialist officers."

A spokesperson for the Scottish Police Service added: "We can confirm that this individual is currently unlawfully at large and we are working with Police Scotland to return him to custody."