Mark Woolley
Mark Woolley, 52, from Hackney, east London, was jailed for the murder in 2001. Police handout

A murderer who killed a BBC costume designer has been recaptured after he disappeared from a probation meeting and went on the run.

Mark Woolley was wanted for breaching the terms of his licence after being released from HMP Ranby in November last year having served almost 17 years for the murder of Liz Sherlock.

The 52-year-old was jailed in 2001 for killing the 42-year-old as she tried to retrieve her handbag that was stolen by Woolley's girlfriend.

Woolley vanished after a probation meeting in Hackney, east London, on 31 January and London's Metropolitan Police (Met) launched a manhunt the next day.

The force have now said Woolley had been located and arrested on Monday (12 February) at an address in north London.

The convicted murderer was once a heroin addict who, on the night of 17 April 2001, set out to steal from commuters at London's Euston station.

Sherlock had been travelling with her husband to her father's birthday when her handbag was snatched by Woolley's then girlfriend Jackie Moorehouse, then 24.

The court was told that Woolley was acting as a getaway driver, and was waiting in a white Ford Fiesta for Moorehouse.

Sherlock gave chase, jumping on the bonnet of the car to the couple escaping, but instead of that halting Woolley's escape, the killer accelerated at speeds of up to 50 mph (80kph).

The victim, worked on shows such as The Last of the Summer Wine and the Royal Variety Performance, was thrown into the air and went under the car, dying in the street in full view of her husband.

The handbag contained just £20 and the court was told that both Woolley and Moorehouse had many previous convictions, many linked to drugs.

The pair denied murder, and Moorehouse was cleared of both murder and manslaughter although she was jailed for three years after she admitted snatching the bag.

Judge Michael Hyam, when sentencing Wolley, said his actions were a "wicked act done without pity and without remorse".