A VIOLENT thug who stabbed a shopkeeper 18 times has escaped prison.

Anthony Bolden, 55, has gone missing from HM Springhill Prison in Aylesbury, and is believed to have links to Basildon.

In 2006, he admitted attempted murder, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and robbery, after he stabbed a shopkeeper 18 times and swung a shovel at a police officer in 2005.

He was given three life sentences and ordered to serve a minimum term of at least seven-and-a-half years.

Thames Valley Police said Bolden was last seen at the prison at 9.30pm on Tuesday May 30.

Bolden is described as white, 6ft 1ins tall, of slim build and has short grey hair. He is clean shaven, and wears glasses.

Bolden also has tattoos on his arms, torso and left hand.

He is believed to also have links in Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, Woodbridge in Suffolk, March in Cambridgeshire, Kingston-Upon-Thames, West Kensington in London, and Bedford, Bedfordshire.

During his sentencing hearing, Judge Jeremy Roberts described Bolden as a very considerable danger to the public.

Investigating officer Det Sgt Bruce Wilson, of Aylesbury Vale CID, said: “We are appealing for the public’s help to trace Anthony Bolden.

“If you see him, or see anyone matching his description, please do not approach him, call police instead.

“If anyone has information relating to Bolden’s whereabouts, please call police on 101 and quote reference number 43190162876."

People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.