A man who was jailed for breaking into an elderly man's house, tying him up and slashing him with a machete has gone on the run from prison.

Dean Cotter, 29, escaped HMP Kirkham on Friday (22 December) where he was serving a 13-year jail sentence for a terrifying break-in into the property of Peter Roycroft, 69, in Weston-super-Mare, near Bristol, in 2012.

Back then, the balaclava-clad criminal demanded money and the victim's pin number. He had already broken into a home in neighbouring Clifton and had stolen a car earlier that night.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and was convicted of robbery. The Bristol Post published images he had taken of himself, posing with machetes before his conviction.

Lancashire Police is making an urgent appeal for information after the flight of Cotter and other jail mates, Liam Martin Byrne and Peter Marron.

Cotter is white, six foot tall, of medium build and a tattoo which reads 'Sarah' on his neck and a tattoo with the word 'midget' on his right arm. He is said to have links to Chatham, Kent, and Bristol.

Police said that Byrne, 33, is 5ft 10ins, white, and has links to Morecambe and Carnforth.

Marron, 31, is 5ft 7ins, mixed race, with brown eyes and tattoos on both arms. He has links to Middlesbrough, Washington in Tyne on Wear and Ingleby Barwick in Stockton on Tees.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log LC-20171223-0065 or email westintelunit@lancashire.pnn.police.uk