POLICE say they are concerned for the welfare of a man missing from a mental health hospital who has not been seen for several days.

Robert Brown, 29, was reported missing from the Priory Hospital, in Middleton St George, near Darlington, on Thursday, January 2.

He was last seen by staff at the hospital at 9am, about an hour after he received medication, when he told them he was going to visit the YMCA in Darlington.

He did not return to the hospital but was seen the following day, Friday, January 3, by a friend who lives in the Burnhope area.

He stayed at the friend’s house until 12.40pm, when he called a taxi to take him to Durham station, where he was dropped off 20 minutes later.

There have been no confirmed sightings of him since and police have no clues to his whereabouts. Staff at the hospital have told police that without his medication Mr Brown’s behaviour may become increasingly erratic, which could be exacerbated if he takes any drugs or alcohol.

Mr Brown is originally from Newcastle and is white, of slim build with short, light brown hair.

He is usually clean-shaven and when last seen was wearing a hooded top with grey and white horizontal stripes, light blue jeans and brown shoes.

PC Julie Fox, from Durham Police, said: “We are very concerned for Robert’s welfare as he needs regular medication to control his condition.

“If anyone thinks they know where he is, we would ask them to contact us so we can hopefully trace him and bring him back to a place of safety.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.