THE father of body-in-the-lodge victim Sajjad Mahmood has slammed the prison service after his son's killer went AWOL for 10 days.
James Butler, 26, received a 10-year jail sentence in 1999 after admitting the manslaughter of 18-year-old Sajjad at a house in Persia Street, Accrington.
However, prison bosses were left red-faced last week when Butler failed to return to Kirklevington Grange Prison in Cleveland after he was allowed to visit his family for the day.
A national manhunt was launched but Butler, whose family still live in the Accrington area, gave himself up at Preston Prison on Tuesday morning.
Mr Arshad Mahmood, of Charter Street, Accrington, has blasted prison chiefs over the blunder.
He said: "Butler shouldn't have been let out in the first place. I just can't understand it.
"He has abused the system and caused us all a lot of stress.
"We were shocked when we found out. His parole is coming up soon but they should stop it. He doesn't seem to regret what he did. He doesn't seem sorry at all."
Describing his sorrow about Sajjad's death, Mr Arshad added: "He is always in our thoughts. There is never a day goes by we do not think about him. He was my eldest son.
"When I see my other children doing well, going off to university and setting up their own businesses, it makes me very sad thinking Sajjad should have been doing the same."
It is believed Butler was due for parole in two weeks, but Mr Mahmood argued he should now remain in prison for the remainder of his sentence.
"Ten years is the least he should serve," he said. "We have got a life sentence. If he feels genuinely sorry for what he did, he should be given a second chance but he doesn't seem to care."
A Prison Service spokesman confirmed Butler was back in custody and said his actions would be taken into consideration when deciding on parole.
He said: "He will face internal disciplinary proceedings and will be dealt with accordingly."
- SAJJAD Mahmood's body was discovered in Hagg Lodge, next to Accrington's Asda superstore, back in 1998. As well as Butler, Wayne Kelly and Karl Barton were jailed for six years for grievous bodily harm and drugs charges in relation to his death.
In 2001, as the result of a long probe into the handling of the case, a police inspector and a sergeant were disciplined over delays in investigating Sajjad's disappearance.