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Need To Know: Two convicted rapists on the run from open prison

Escaped: (L-R) Stuart O'Neill, 29, & John-Paul Knowlson, 30

■ Two convicted rapists on the run from open prison

POLICE are hunting two convicted rapists who have absconded from an open prison.

John-Paul Knowlson, 30, and Stuart O’Neill, 29, left HMP Leyhill in South Gloucestershire at about 2am this morning after forcing a door.

Avon and Somerset Police said both prisoners are serving indeterminate sentences.

Knowlson, who is from Bristol, was transferred to HMP Leyhill in September last year. He was convicted of rape at Bristol Crown Court in 2011.

Police said he is white, 5ft 5in and of medium build, with brown eyes, and speaks with a West Country accent. He has a cross tattoo on his right arm. When last seen he was wearing a red tracksuit top.

O’Neill, who is from the Lancashire area, has strong links to Manchester.

He was convicted of rape, burglary and theft offencesat Manchester Crown Court in 2009 and was transferred to HMP Leyhill in October last year.

Police said he is white, 6ft 1in and of medium build, with blue eyes and has a beard. He speaks with a Mancunian accent and has a tattoo with the name O’Neill on the base of his neck.

■ Endurance swimmer completes Channel challenge

ENDURANCE swimmer Lewis Pugh has told of his relief at completing a ‘once-in-a-lifetime swim’ along the English Channel in his bid to highlight the ‘crisis’ of ocean pollution.

The swimmer (pictured above), from Plymouth, was greeted at Dover’s Shakespeare Beach by environment secretary Michael Gove, his wife and campaigners after dozens of local swimmers accompanied him along the final stretch.

Mr Pugh said he was feeling ‘relieved and exhilarated’ after completing the 330-mile swim.

He said: ‘It’s been very, very long, we’ve been going for 49 days and I’m exhausted, physically exhausted, mentally exhausted, so delighted to be here.’

The 48-year-old is estimated to have made 500,000 to 750,000 strokes along the journey.

■ People-trafficking on agenda as May arrives in Nigeria

Greetings: Theresa May meets Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari

THERESA MAY has arrived in Nigeria for the second leg of her whistle-stop Africa tour with trade, security and people-trafficking on the agenda.

The prime minister will hold talks with president Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja, with the threat of Boko Haram in west Africa expected to be discussed.

She will then head to Lagos to announce business projects, develop financial links amid post-Brexit uncertainty for the City of London, and meet survivors of modern slavery.

UK and French support to help Nigeria and Niger develop their borders to prevent trafficking, and counselling plus training to help 1,700 migrants and victims of modern slavery are among the pledges to be made.