A serial rapist, once the most wanted man in Britain, could be moved to an "open prison."

Bolton man Andrew Barlow, now 68, was jailed in 1988 for a string of sex attacks that led him to be dubbed the “Coronation Street rapist.”

The Parole Board has now refused Barlow's bid for release after finding the risk of him carrying out another sex attack was “very high”, but has also found that the chance of him escaping from an open prison are “low.”

A summary of the panel’s decision said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and on licence, and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public.

“The panel was not persuaded that it could rely on Mr Barlow to be open and honest with those managing him on licence …

Barlow was jailed back in 1988Barlow was jailed back in 1988 (Image: PA)

“However, on considering the criteria for recommending placement in open conditions, the panel recommended that Mr Barlow should be progressed in this way.

“It considered that he would present a low risk of absconding from an open prison and that a move to open conditions would allow him the chance to show that he can be trusted.”

Barlow was given his most recent life sentence in 2017Barlow was given his most recent life sentence in 2017 (Image: GMP)

Barlow, who lived in Bolton and Oldham at various points, had been dubbed the “Coronation Street rapist” after attacking women in brick built terraced houses.

Formerly known as Andrew Longmire, he briefly became Britain’s most wanted man before he was finally caught after trying to shoot his way out of a confrontation with police with a shotgun.

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His most recent sentence was handed down in 2017 when he pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint in Great Lever in January 1982, bringing him to a total of 13 life sentences.

Barlow was briefly freed in March last year but was recalled only months later after breaching his bail conditions.

Since then, he has now faced a fresh parole review, which has made the open prison recommendation.

But it will be up to the justice secretary to decide whether to accept the recommendations.

Barlow will be eligible for another parole review in around a year’s time.