A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender as police continue to hunt for a fugitive.
Bernard Lee Sharkey failed to return to Kirklevington Prison in Yarm, Teesside, after carrying out work in the community and was last seen at Newham Grange Farm in Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, on Thursday, August 23.
Police announced yesterday that they had arrested a 47-year-old man in the Morpeth area on suspicion of assisting an offender. The arrest was carried out in conjunction with Northumbria Police and the arrested man will be interviewed by detectives from Cleveland Police.
However, Sharkey, 34, who was serving an indeterminate sentence for threats to kill, affray and possession of an offensive weapon, remains at large.
The convicted criminal is known to have links to both the Morpeth area in Northumberland and Grangetown in Middlesbrough.
Cleveland Police have renewed their appeal to help find Sharkey, who is described as 5ft 9in inches tall, with short cropped brown hair, blue eyes and of proportionate build.
He has a scar on the left-hand side of his top lip and a Celtic band tattoo on his upper left arm. He was last seen wearing a red striped polo shirt and grey jogging bottoms.
Acting Superintendent Rob Donaghy, of Cleveland Police, said: “A man has been arrested in the Morpeth area of Northumberland in connection with the ongoing search for Bernard Sharkey.
“Sharkey remains outstanding and we would reiterate our warning to members of the public not to approach him but to contact 999 immediately; and we would again appeal to Bernard Sharkey to hand himself in.”
Sharkey was handed an indeterminate jail term in 2006, after laying siege to a house, armed with a baseball bat.
Together with two others, he smashed windows of a house in South Bank, and shouted death threats at terrified residents, including young children.
Sharkey was found guilty of threats to kill, affray and possession of an offensive weapon.
He was handed a sentence of imprisonment for public protection – similar to a life sentence – yet police revealed he was actually deemed low risk.
Officers believe he may be searching for a known individual, although they didn’t give further details.