A NOTORIOUS Blackburn criminal who has been on the run from police for eight months is back behind bars.

Mohammed Rehan Awan, also known as Ronnie, was arrested over the weekend and charged with escaping lawful custody.

Awan had been wanted by police for over eight months since he absconded from HMP Kirkham last October.

Several appeals have been issued by police over the eight months, with the most recent stating they had reason to believe Awan that was using East Lancashire’s canal network to get around undetected.

Further to this, a 21-year-old female from the Blackburn area has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender where it is alleged they have harboured Awan at their address, knowing he was wanted.

She has since been released under investigation.

A police spokesman said: “We will continue to pursue anyone else who we find out has assisted Awan and we give our thanks to all those that called in with information on his whereabouts.”