stuart brownhill
Stuart Brownhill was convicted of rape at Manchester Crown Court in 1985. Handout

A convicted killer who strangled a woman after attempting to rape her has absconded from prison.

Stuart Brownhill was being held at the North Sea Camp men's open prison after being given a life sentence in 1985.

Lincolnshire Police said the 59-year-old was found to be absent during a roll-call at 5am on Friday (16 September) at the prison near Boston.

He murdered Lynne Taylor while her 11-year-old son slept in their home in Werneth, Oldham, in 1984.

Taylor met Brownhill on a night out on August 30, just nine days after he had been released from prison for a separate offence.

They took a taxi from outside a nightclub, and when they arrived at her home he asked if he could come in for a cup of tea.

The following morning, her body was found in the terraced property, which Brownhill had set fire to in a bid to cover his tracks.

He later admitted he had strangled Taylor after trying to rape her, and that he knew the boy was asleep in the property when he started the fire.

He is described as 5ft 8in, bald, and has a green right eye and a blue left eye. Officers said they believe he may be wearing a brown jacket and black boots.

Police are asking members of the public not to approach Brownhill but to contact them on 999 immediately. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 101.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Public protection is our top priority. When an abscond takes place, police are immediately notified and are responsible for locating the offender.

"Those who do abscond are returned to much tougher, closed prisons where they will have to serve additional time."

His escape comes in the same week another convicted murderer fled from an open prison in Derbyshire.

Darren Jackson, 51, walked out of HMP Sudbury on Tuesday (13 September) having been sentenced to life behind bars in 1986 for murdering mother-of-three Gillian Ellis. He was arrested in the Moorlands area on Thursday.