Police launch manhunt following escape from hospital by prisoner after accomplice threatens prison officers with a gun
Two men are being sought by police after a prisoner was helped to escape when his two guards were threatened by a gunman at a hospital.
Andrew Farndon, 26, had been handcuffed to one of two officers to be taken from prison to West Suffolk hospital in Bury St Edmunds for treatment yesterday.
Police were alerted by hospital staff who saw a man pointing a gun at the two outside the accident and emergency department.
Suffolk police received a second call from the prison officers, from Highpoint prison in Stradishall near Newmarket, who said a man had pulled a gun on them as they arrived at the hospital.
Both the prisoner and the gunman ran away, and it is thought they may have then driven off in a dark-colour car. No-one was hurt in the incident.
Farndon is described as white with a shaved head, and was wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a light-coloured jumper which had been padded on the right side due to an injury to his shoulder.
The man with the gun is described as white, in his mid 40s, around 5ft 8in, of stocky build, possibly with a Scottish accent. He was wearing a white top and blue jeans.
It is thought they may have escaped in a dark-coloured car.
In 2007 Farndon previously escaped by leaping from the dock at Coventry crown court, but in his absence, before later being found and jailed, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection of at least two years before being considered for parole.
He had been found guilty of grievous bodily harm, after a hammer attack that left his victim with a fractured skull.
Farndon wais a category C prisoner, which means he was deemed unlikely to make a determined escape attempt.
Police are advising members the public not to approach either man but to call officers straight away.
A prison service spokeswoman said there would be an inquiry.
Police are not linking the incident with the escape of category A prisoner John Anslow from a prison van after it was ambushed by three masked men as it left Hewell prison in Worcestershire on Monday.
A 44-year-old Tipton man arrested on Monday night on suspicion of helping Anslow was released yesterday on bail pending further inquiries, police said.