Police appeal to trace ‘violent’ criminal

POLICE officers are appealing for information about a man wanted for breaking the conditions of his release from prison.

Hampshire Constabulary wants to find and arrest 30-year-old Paul Joseph Heppenstall, from Chichester, so he can be returned to custody.

Heppenstall is described as white, 5ft 7in tall, of medium build with ginger, receding hair, usually cut short, and blue eyes.

The last contact Heppenstall had with the authorities was in Hampshire on Saturday, July 28, 2012, shortly after his release from prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs, of Hampshire Constabulary’s public protection department, said: “We have been following many lines of enquiry in our efforts to locate and arrest Paul Heppenstall and we are grateful to everyone who has helped officers with various leads regarding his whereabouts.

“We are now making a wider appeal to members of the public, particularly in Portsmouth, where our latest information suggests he can be found.”

Heppenstall was convicted of grievous bodily harm (GBH) and sentenced to five years in prison in May, 2010, for attacking a member of the public in Eastern Road, Portsmouth, in October, 2009.

Detective Chief Inspector Snuggs added: “Mr Heppenstall has a history of violence for which he was imprisoned by the courts two years ago.

“Police are eager to return him to jail as he now continues to display a blatant disregard for the conditions of his release into the community.

“Our current information suggests Mr Heppenstall does not pose an immediate threat to any particular members of the public. He is not accused or suspected of any other crimes, apart from breaching his prison release licence.

“Nevertheless, due to his past behaviour, we would advise people against approaching him.

“Any sightings and information about his whereabouts or intentions should be reported to the police immediately by phoning 101 – or if it’s an emergency – dial 999.

“Please remember that you can also give us information anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact the public protection department at Havant Police Station by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 01962 875000.