Did he have a gun licence?

If so why?

‘Dangerous’ prisoner in van escape

An “extremely dangerous” prisoner is at the centre of an international manhunt after a gang armed with sledgehammers ambushed a prison van.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke ordered a full inquiry into how murder suspect John Anslow was able to escape following a “well-orchestrated armed ambush” despite being classed as a highly dangerous category A prisoner.

He is the first category A prisoner to escape from custody in more than 17 years.


A dangerous prisoner charged with murder is on the run after three masked men ambushed a prison van, police have said.

John Anslow, 31, from Tipton, escaped following the attack on the prison van taking three inmates from Hewell prison in Redditch to Stafford Crown Court at about 8.20am, West Mercia Police said.

Police warned he was considered “dangerous” and was one of five men charged with the murder of Richard Deakin, who was shot dead in Chasetown, Staffordshire, in 2010.

Three men, armed with sledgehammers, used a silver Volkswagen Scirocco to stop the prison van before smashing its windows and punching its driver in the face.

Anslow, who is described as white, 5ft 10in and of medium build, with short, straight, dark brown hair, escaped. The two other prisoners remained in the van.

Detective Inspector Jon Marsden, of West Mercia Police, said: “Three men wearing balaclavas, two of whom were carrying sledgehammers, got out of a silver Volkswagen Scirocco, and smashed the windscreen and driver’s window of the GEO Amey prison escort van.”

He went on: “Anslow has recently been charged with murder and is considered dangerous. We would urge any members of the public who see him not to approach him directly, but to contact police immediately on 999.”

Police believe Anslow and the three masked men switched to a silver Mercedes car in Stoney Lane, Bromsgrove, soon after the attack on the van in Hewell Lane, Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove.

Anslow was charged with murder on January 18 and was on his way to Stafford Crown Court, where his case was listed for a preliminary hearing. Mr Deakin, 27, died after being shot while alone at his home in Meadway Street, Chasetown, Staffordshire, at about 8.30am on July 5 2010.

A spokeswoman for prisoner escort firm GEO Amey said: “Following an incident this morning, we can confirm that two employees were threatened and one sustained facial injuries. Both were treated by paramedics at the scene. They continue to assist West Mercia Police with their investigations.”

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has launched an immediate and urgent inquiry to establish the circumstances surrounding the escape of Anslow.

“The first priority is to ensure that this man is quickly found and arrested”, he said.