Joseph Grima
The public have been warned not to approach Joseph Grima if spotted Cheshire Police

A huge manhunt is underway after a suspected kidnapper escaped from a Cheshire hospital while still in handcuffs.

The public have been warned not to approach 33-year-old Joseph Grima after he fled from Macclesfield district general hospital in the early hours of Friday 26 January.

Grima had been charged with kidnap, robbery and possessing an imitation firearm and had been due to appear before South Cheshire Magistrates later the same day.

However, he was moved to the hospital after complaining about being unwell while in custody awaiting his court appearance but subsequently went missing around 5am.

He is described as white, 5ft 5in, with a stocky build, brown eyes and very short brown hair.

At the time of his disappearance he was wearing a tight grey Nike top and grey jogging bottoms. He was also handcuffed to the front of his body.

The suspect is believed to have links to Salford and Eccles in Greater Manchester.

Supt Debbie Hooper said: "The search for Grima is ongoing and there is currently a large police presence in the local area.

"As part of this, I'm keen to hear from anyone who knows where he may be or has seen anyone matching his description. I would urge anyone who sees him not to approach him but to call us immediately on 999."

Anyone with any information in relation to the whereabouts of Grima is urged to contact Cheshire Police on 999 immediately quoting incident number 965 of 25 January 2018. Information can also be passed anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.