Man Hunt Under Way

He has escaped before and lasted 21 days on the run after he fled from Coventry Crown Court on April 24th 2007

A manhunt is under way after two prison officers were threatened at gunpoint and forced to release a prisoner, police said.

No one was hurt in the incident which took place as they transported Andrew Farndon, 26, for treatment at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Suffolk Police said officers were contacted just after 6.50pm by staff at the hospital’s A&E department who reported they could see a man with a gun outside.

The prison officers, from HMP Highpoint in Stradishall, near Newmarket, called police moments later and said they had had a gun pulled on them by a man who confronted them as they had arrived at the hospital.

They said the prisoner needed treatment after being stabbed in an incident at the prison. Both the prisoner and the man with the gun then ran away across the car park.

Farden, thought to have been a category C prisoner, is described as white with a shaved head, and was wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a light coloured jumper that was padded on the right side due to his injury.

The man with the gun is described as white, in his mid 40s, around 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky build. He possibly had a Scottish accent and was wearing a white top and blue jeans.

Police are searching the area and are liaising with other agencies and talking to witnesses. Members of the public are advised not to approach either of the men but to call officers straight away.

After he was injured badly enough to be taken to hospital, the prison officers escorting him were threatened by a man armed with a gun as they got out of the vehicle at the hospital, sources said.

The escape is the second in just a week, after category A prisoner John Anslow was sprung from a prison van after it left Hewell Prison in Worcestershire. Three masked men ambushed the van as it took inmates from the prison near Redditch to Stafford Crown Court on Monday.

He has escaped before and lasted 21 days on the run

AN INQUIRY has been launched at Coventry Crown Court into how a man being tried for a vicious attack managed to jump out of the dock and flee.
Andrew Farndon leaped the barrier and ran from the city centre court while on trial for wounding, on Tuesday, April 24. The 21-year-old, whom police have described as “dangerous”, remains on the run 10 days after he fled.
His trial continued in his absence and he was convicted by a jury of wounding with intent, dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle-taking.
Details of the offences have not been released.

Farndon, from Foleshill, Coventry, will be sentenced when he is caught.
The Coventry Telegraph has learned that Farndon was actually in the dock, where he would have been accompanied by officers from the private security company Reliance, when he made his bid for freedom.
He would also have had to go down a flight of stairs  and past security officers at the front door of the court, in Much Park Street, to get out.
A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Court Service said an investigation into how Farndon was able to escape was under way.
He refused to comment further.

Detectives from the CID  at Little Park Street police station in Coventry city centre are continuing to hunt Farndon.
He is described as 6ft 1in, white and with short brown hair. He has a visible scar  on the top of his head.
At the time he escaped from court he was wearing a brown sweatshirt and blue jeans.
Police say he should not be approached.
They have urged anyone who knows of his whereabouts to phone them on 0845 113 5000 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Anyone who provides information that leads to Farndon’s arrest could be eligible for a reward of up to pounds 500.
RELIANCE are also holding an internal inquiry into Farndon’s escape.
A spokeswoman for Reliance said: “An investigation is under way into what happened, and we will not be able to say anything further until that has been completed.
“Incidents like these are extremely rare. Reliance handles a quarter of a million prisoners every year, which they do very successfully for the vast majority without incident.”

Fugitive found hiding out at relative’s house;

ESCAPE FROM DOCK: Police raid nets wanted man facing indefinite jail term.

A FUGITIVE who jumped out of the dock while on trial for a violent attack in Coventry three weeks ago has been arrested in Reading.
After 22 days on the run, justice finally caught up with Andrew Farndon, who had been hiding out at a relative’s house in the Berkshire town.
He fled Coventry Crown Court on April 24 while being tried for attacking a man with a claw hammer after running his car off the road.
 His victim suffered a fractured skull, convulsions, a blood clot on the brain, and was on a life-support machine, with doctors giving him a 60 per cent chance of survival.
He was in hospital for more than two weeks and now has poor concentration.

Farndon was convicted in his absence and jailed indefinitely for public protection. He must serve three years before he can apply for parole.
Early yesterday morning, officers acting on intelligence from Coventry detectives, raided a house in Reading. Farndon, aged 21, from Foleshill, Coventry, was said to be compliant when officers swooped in the early hours.
Detective Inspector Stuart Bell, of Little Park Street police station in Coventry city centre, said: “Coventry CID. passed information to Reading police and he was arrested at 4.25am.
“He will be brought to Coventry to be put before the crown court.” Farndon’s victim, father-of-two Marc Jackson  of Hillfields, Coventry, said: “I feel I can relax now.
“It’s a relief. I’m still not happy with the sentence, but I have just got to live with it.”
While he was on the loose, Farndon’s mother, Katrina, pleaded in the Coventry Telegraph for him to give himself up.
As well as being jailed for causing grievous bodily  with intent, Farndon was sentenced to 18 months for aggravated vehicle taking, and banned from driving for 2 1/2 years.
He was given a further 18 months in prison for dangerous driving. Both extra prison sentences will run at the same time as the indefinite sentence.
An internal inquiry into Farndon’s escape is being carried out at Coventry Crown Court.
Reliance, the private security firm which provides officers for the dock at the court, is also carrying out an inquiry.