A DANGEROUS armed robber who once kidnapped and tried to rape a 10-year-old child has gone on the run after fleeing his Exeter bail hostel.
Mark Sleman, a known member of the EDL, was released from jail under licence earlier this year as part of a seven-year sentence for robbing a homeless man at knifepoint and attempting to rob a garage shop supervisor in Exeter, again armed with a knife.
But the probation service has now withdrawn his licence as they are no longer able to supervise him and a police manhunt has been launched to get him back behind bars.
Police believe Sleman is still in the Exeter area and the public has been warned not to approach him but to call 999 immediately if they see him. A police spokesman said: “It is very important to get him in because of the kind of guy he is. We believe he is still in Exeter and we have mainly been looking at areas and addresses he had links to and carrying out checks.
“We are now asking for more information from the public. The more eyes looking for him the better.
“We are very keen to try to get hold of him. My message to the public would be to not approach him as he is a violent man. If they see him in person they should call 999 immediately. If they have any information as to where he is they should call us on 101.” Sleman category of offending means he has spent nearly 20 of his 42 years locked up and when he was jailed at Exeter Crown Court in November 2008 the judge considered an “indefinite term” which would have meant he could only be released if he could prove to the Home Secretary he was no longer a danger to the public.
He had been diagnosed as a ‘cold and callous psychopath’ and had robbed his own homeless friend at knifepoint when they were sleeping rough on land near Sandygate roundabout.
He then attempted to rob the Esso station at the Moto services on the M5 at Sowton and was only thwarted by a quick-thinking shop assistant.
He was also sentenced to another four months when he admitted the offences were a breach of a suspended sentence he had been given for failing to notify the Sex Offenders’ Register of a change of address.
The court also heard that Sleman had previously served a nine-year jail sentence for attempted rape, indecent assault and kidnap. That involved kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a house, taking her to a caravan, sexually abusing her, threatening her, then returning her to her address.
He had also been jailed in 2003 for robbing the Winning Post service station, on Haldon Hill, near the city, at knifepoint.
PC Nagle added: “I cannot comment on any other previous convictions apart from the armed robbery he was on licence for. But when people start breaching their licence they often think what else can I get away with.
“We don’t want to worry the public but it is vital he is caught. There is an obvious fear he will offend again. We are not suggesting he will commit the same offences but it is clear he is a criminal who has a history of violent offending.
“He needs to be recalled to prison. He has a substantial amount of his sentence left.”
PC Nagle said that in addition to fleeing the bail hostel he had got into arrears over paying his accommodation. He was released from prison on 1 May.
“He was being monitored by probation service and they have revoked his licence as they were not able to supervise him anymore,” he added.
“It is never good having someone like that out. We are doing everything we can to find him. And hopefully, with the public’s help, it is not long before we do.”
Police say that Sleman also goes by the name Archie Sleman and Stuart Holmes. He is described as a white man, 5ft 11in tall (180cm), medium build, cropped ginger hair, blue eyes, with a 3in scar on his right cheek and a soft English accent. He has numerous tattoos on his arms, including a rose, the name Suggs, a cross and some dots.
As well as Exeter, Sleman is known to have visited Torbay, East Devon and Exmouth.
Anyone who knows the current whereabouts of Sleman or has seen him recently is asked to contact police on 101 quoting police reference DE/13/8408
Express & Echo