Escaped prisoner back in custody

A prisoner who went on the run after being sprung from the clutches of prison officers as they escorted him to hospital has been arrested, police have said.

Andrew Farndon, 26, has been at the centre of a nationwide manhunt since an armed accomplice helped him escape custody outside West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Wednesday evening.

Suffolk Police confirmed the prisoner, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection, was in custody after being detained by officers from another force area. The force did not reveal where he was discovered.

A police spokesman said: “In relation to the investigation into the escape of Andrew Farndon from Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday evening, Suffolk Constabulary can confirm that Farndon has been detained by police and is in custody in another force area.”

Farndon’s arrest came as his mother made a public appeal urging him to contact police. Asking her son to hand himself in on Sky News, Kate Farndon said: “Hi Andy love, it’s mum. I would like to know that you’re ok, I would like to know how your wound is, if it’s serious, if you need medical attention, but most of all sweetheart, I would like you to hand yourself in.”

It is understood Farndon suffered a knife wound at Highpoint prison in Stradishall, near Newmarket, before being taken to the West Suffolk Hospital’s Accident & Emergency (A&E) department in a taxi accompanied by two guards at 6.50pm on Wednesday evening.

On arrival, a waiting gunman confronted the male and female prison officials and threatened them with his weapon, before fleeing with Farndon across the car park.

His escape was the second in just a week, after an “extremely dangerous” category A prisoner, murder suspect John Anslow, was sprung from a prison van after it left Hewell Prison in Worcestershire. He remains at large.

Farndon previously escaped by leaping from the dock at Coventry Crown Court in 2007, but was sentenced in his absence to an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) and told he must serve at least two years before being considered for parole.

He was found guilty of grievous bodily harm after a hammer attack that left his victim with a fractured skull, but officials only classed him as a category C prisoner – meaning he was deemed unlikely to make a determined escape attempt.

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