Government defends killer Ian McLoughlin's day release The Ministry of Justice has defended releasing a killer on licence after he went on the run when a "good Samaritan" was stabbed to death. The search for Ian John McLoughlin, 55, follows the death of Graham Buck, 66, in a Hertfordshire village on Saturday. Mr Buck died intervening in a robbery two doors from his home. McLoughlin was on day release from Category D HMP Spring Hill when Mr Buck was killed. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said day release was "essential". "Release on temporary licence is used to prepare prisoners for their eventual release from custody," a spokesman for the MoJ said. "It helps to reduce the chance of re-offending by setting up appropriate employment and rehabilitation work in the community, and maintaining family contact. "This is essential for successful resettlement." McLoughlin had served 22 years of a minimum 25-year sentence for murder. Another man hurt in the suspected robbery, in which thousands of pounds were stolen, has been released from hospital and is currently in what police described as a "place of safety". Det Ch Supt Jeff Hill said Mr Buck had received "fatal stab wounds" and police were treating the death as murder. Police said they had found a number of "items of interest" at the crime scene but were unable yet to state whether the murder weapon was among them. It was unclear whether McLoughlin was armed, police said. Police thought McLoughlin might have left Hertfordshire and confirmed their search had "gone nationwide". They said ports, police forces and airports across the country had been "put on alert". McLoughlin is known to be a heavy drinker and police have appealed to owners of guest houses, hoteliers and pubs to be "vigilant". McCoughlin is described as white, about 6ft (1.8m) tall, with straight, greying, collar-length hair and of average build. Anyone with information on his whereabouts has been urged to contact police or Crimestoppers. Link --- A couple of things bother me on this. One, he has been judged a murderer, in my view he should be hung or at the very least never released. This guy was released, albeit 22 years after the crime and he subsequently killed again. The second thing, and the one that puzzles/irks me the most is even though he's spent the last 22 years in jail he is, and i quote "a heavy drinker". How, if he is locked up does he get access to alcohol to be classed as a heavy drinker? After 22 years of going cold turkey he should be pretty much over his drink problem dont you think? Or, and this would not surprise me, do our ever more cushy prisons now serve alcohol to their 'tenants'? It wouldn't surprise me, I mean with the HD Tvs and video games they get it would be a crime not to offer alcohol too. We need our prisons to scare the **** out of people so they won't commit a crime from fear of being locked up. I know of someone who is in and out of prison every year "its not that bad" he says. "I get out, I do what I want, if i get caught I go down and have nothing to worry about. I get out again and do what I want." I think were his exact words. If he was scared to get 'sent down' he wouldn't be doing 'what he wants' and would look at getting a job like the rest of us.