A VIOLENT criminal on the run from prison is thought to be heading for Southampton.

Dean Evans, who was jailed after making threats to kill a woman and her children as they watched television, went missing on Monday evening.

Evans, 36, is a prisoner from Leyhill Open Prison near Bristol and should not be approached according to police, after being jailed for violent crimes.

Police believe him to be either hitchhiking or trying to catch a train to Hampshire.

He is aged 36 and described as white, about 5ft 6 tall, of small build, with blue eyes and cropped brown hair.

He was jailed in 2006 after using a pole to try and smash the window of a flat in Southampton, shouting at the terrified family inside: "This is my flat. I live here, open the door. I died in this flat. I have put lighter fluids around the flat. I'm going to burn this place down and I will kill you."

The semi-naked Evans was then grabbed by a neighbour.

In 2011, he was returned to prison after breaching the terms of his release licence.

Officers say anyone who sees him should not approach him but instead dial 999 immediately.

Anyone who thinks they may have already seen him or knows where he is should call officers at Avon and Somerset police on 01275 818340, quoting crime reference MP1216/14.