BREAKING NEWS from the blog that first broke the story

£10,000 Reward for Missing Prisoner


Police had already offered a £20,000 reward to catch the killers who shot Richard Deakin

Detectives hunting an “extremely dangerous” murder suspect who escaped from a prison van have offered a £10,000 reward for information about his whereabouts.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender following the “well-orchestrated ambush” that saw John Anslow being sprung from custody, and is being questioned by police.

Officers from West Midlands Police detained the 44-year-old suspect just hours after Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke ordered an inquiry into how Anslow was able to escape from a prison van.

There is still no sign of the highly-dangerous category A prisoner, now at the centre of an international manhunt.

A gang of three masked men stopped the vehicle, smashed its windows with sledgehammers and punched its driver as it was taking inmates from Hewell prison in Redditch to Stafford Crown Court. Instead of being transferred in a high-security prison service van with a police escort, Anslow was with other inmates in a van run by a private contractor.

Detective Superintendent Martin Evans, of Staffordshire Police, the force leading the hunt, said: “Our investigation into finding escaped prisoner John Anslow is continuing to move quickly as we follow several lines of inquiry.

“Staffordshire Police are offering a £10,000 reward for information that leads to Anslow’s arrest and return to prison. We’re hoping that this sizeable reward will encourage those who know where Anslow might be to come forward. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Property has been recovered following the execution of five search warrants in the Tipton area of the West Midlands and is now being examined by police, he added.

Officers have received calls about possible sightings of a silver Mercedes car used by Anslow and his associates,and are appealing for information about a silver Volkswagen Scirocco found abandoned close to the scene. It is thought the offenders used it during the incident, then switched to the Mercedes.

Anslow’s status was upgraded to Category A only after he was charged with the murder of businessman Richard Deakin last week.

Police offer £20,000 reward over killers who shot man

Gunman entering Mr Deakin's home
The gunman was seen carrying a weapon in Mr Deakin’s garden

Police investigating the “cold blooded and calculated” murder of a man killed in his Staffordshire home are offering a £20,000 reward to catch his killers.

Richard Deakin was shot in the chest while in bed at his home Meadway Street, Chasetown, on 5 July.

The reward was offered on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Wednesday.

Police have released CCTV images of a masked man entering Mr Deakin’s garden carrying a weapon before leaving with an accomplice in a Vauxhall Corsa.

Two men have been arrested and released on bail as part of the inquiry.

Detectives have said they believe those responsible have links to the Wolverhampton, Tipton or Coseley areas in the Black Country.

‘Pick up the phone’

Det Ch Insp Dave Garrett, from Staffordshire Police, who is leading the investigation, said: “We’re determined to catch Richard’s murderers and are offering a substantial reward to encourage those who have information to come forward.

“There’s every chance that someone who knows the killers saw last night’s programme and we’re urging them to pick up the phone.

“As displayed in the CCTV footage, Richard’s murder was calculated and cold-blooded.

“We need to take these people off the streets and bring closure for Richard’s family.”

The car police believe the gunman escaped in was found abandoned less than a mile away in Coppy Nook Lane, police said.

Mr Deakin moved to Chasetown with his fiance Megan in 2008 where they lived with their daughters, aged four and two. He was alone at the time of his murder.

The reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, police said.