Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Pair on run after prison van raid

Anthony Downes, left, and Kirk Bradley, were sprung from the prison van
The scene on Trinity Way, Manchester, after an armed gang sprung two prisoners from a security van
An armed gang sprung two prisoners from a security van

Two men are being hunted by police after they were sprung from a prison van by an armed gang.

Kirk Bradley and Tony Downes were being taken to Liverpool Crown Court, where they are on trial, when the security van they were in was targeted in a daring morning rush-hour raid.

Police issued their photos but members of the public were warned not to approach the pair if they are spotted and instead call police.

Both men were in the van when it was attacked on Trinity Way on the edge of Manchester city centre shortly after 8.30am on Monday.

Bradley and Downes, both 25 and from Liverpool, are accused of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit criminal damage with intent to endanger life.

They were taken out of the security van by "a number of armed, masked men", police said.

The gang made off in a Saab car, which was found abandoned in Barrow Street in Islington, Salford, a short time later.

One security guard was taken to hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Downes, of no fixed address, and Bradley, of Altfinch Close, Stockbridge Village, Merseyside, were part way through their trial with a number of other co-accused.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: "Officers are appealing for the public's assistance in tracing these two offenders, but would urge anyone who knows of their whereabouts not to approach the pair."

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