THE MANHUNT for attempted-murder suspect Michael Bennison has been stepped up in York, and police today warned he is "extremely dangerous".

North Yorkshire Police said they were issuing an "urgent warning" to the public not to approach Bennison, 28, who is wanted on suspicion of stabbing his 27-year-old girlfriend and who has a history of domestic violence.

The stabbing happened at a house in Healey Grove, in the Huntington area, at around 1pm on Friday.

Bennison is described as white, 5ft 10in tall, with short brown hair, blue eyes and a strong build. He has a wide nose and a noticeable mole on both cheeks, say police.

Bennison was given an 11-month suspended sentence in October 2010 after punching a woman unconscious and leaving her scarred for life. Eight months later, in June 2011, he was jailed for an attack on a second woman, and ordered to serve ten months of the original sentence plus four more for the second attack.

Police say his whereabouts are unknown, but say he is thought to still be in the York area.

The victim remains in York Hospital in a stable condition. She suffered a punctured lung, several chest wounds and other injuries.

Detective Inspector Shaun Page, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Michael, if you see or hear this appeal I cannot urge you strongly enough to hand yourself in to the police as we need to speak to you as a matter of urgency.

"You are only making matters worse for yourself by not speaking to the police.

“Anyone who knows where Bennison is, or may be shielding him, must contact the police immediately. You are not helping him and may even be committing offences yourself.”

On Friday, police said they wanted to question Bennison in connection with drugs dealing, assault and other matters, but they revealed on Saturday that he was wanted for attempted murder.

Det Insp Page said on Saturday: “We are still establishing the full circumstances surrounding the incident that occurred on Friday afternoon.

However, from our enquiries so far, it is clear that Michael Bennison is evading the police and is refusing to assist the investigation.

Anyone who knows Bennison's whereabouts is urged not to approach him but to phone 999 immediately or Crimstoppers anonymously, in either case quoting reference number 12120210314.