A manhunt is under way for three violent prisoners - including one who bludgeoned a man to death with a hammer who went on the run from the same prison within six days.

The three men, murderer Nicholas Redding, 45, drug dealer James Vaughan, 37, and burglar Barry Anderson, 41, have all absconded from HMP Spring Hill since 15 November.

Security at the open prison in Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, will surely come under scrutiny after the trio disappeared.

Redding was jailed for life at Bristol Crown Court for the 1994 murder of neighbour Michael Fry, who was tied to a chair before having his neck sawed in Yeovil, Somerset.

Up to 50 police officers joined the initial hunt for the killer who was arrested after the crime was featured on BBC TV's Crimewatch UK.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "We are appealing for the public's help in tracing a man who is wanted for escaping lawful custody.

"Nicholas Redding absconded from HMP Springhill on November 19. He is described as white, 6ft tall, of slim build, with dark brown hair and hazel coloured eyes.

"He is blind in his right eye which appears to be opaque. He has a West Country accent and has links to Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset."

Violent burglar Anderson was jailed in 2011 after he broke into a disabled 89-year-old's home in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire and held a pair of shears to the elderly man's throat as he lay in his bed.

Anderson was jailed indefinitely for the aggravated burglary at the pensioner's home which was carried out ten days after he was freed from a previous jail sentence.

Violent drug dealer Vaughan's escape has not being linked to the others who have left the jail in recent days.

Heavily-built Vaughan, who was nicknamed 'Scarface', was convicted for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and jailed for 16 years.

About 5ft 9in, with brown hair and brown eyes, Vaughan was said to have been a gangland enforcer who used violence to collect drug debts.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: "He has links to Sussex areas, in particular Horsham, Hove, Brighton, Shoreham, Lewes.

"He also has links to Birmingham and Kent including Faversham, Maidstone, Rainham and Sidcup. The public were advised not to approach him but to call 999 if seen.

The public is being advised not to approach any of the men but call 999 if they are seen.