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Car appeal as police hunt killer sprung from jail during hospital visit

Police have appealed for information about a car used to spring a drug dealer out of jail, where he was serving life for the savage murder of a rival, after the vehicle's previous owner was found.

Shaun Walmsley, from Liverpool, escaped when two men armed with a knife and a gun confronted prison officers guarding him at Aintree University Hospital during a visit from the city's HMP Walton on Tuesday afternoon.

The three fled in a gold-coloured Volvo with the reg plate MW02 XHE which d etectives found in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool.

Officers have now traced the previous owner of the car, who sold the vehicle in a private sale on Merseyside about two months ago. The vehicle was not re-registered following the sale.

Walmsley, 28, from Walton, was serving life with a minimum of 30 years for the murder of Anthony Duffy, 33, in May 2014.

He was lured to an address in Aintree and repeatedly stabbed and left for dead.

Detective Superintendent Natalie Perischine of Merseyside Police said officers are particularly interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen the gold Volvo used in the incident.

She said: "Following inquiries today we have managed to locate the last registered owner of the Volvo and he sold the car in a private transaction about two months ago.

"The car was not re-registered. For the last two months that car has been stored somewhere, it could have been on a street, or in a garage, but someone may have seen it.

"It is a very distinctive gold Volvo with silver alloys and we don't believe that the offenders have used cloned plates.

"So if you have seen this car parked up on your street, or being driven in your area, please contact us as information you have could help us identify those involved in the incident yesterday."

She added: "As I have previously stated, Shaun Walmsley and the two others involved in the incident yesterday are dangerous individuals and we will be relentless in our pursuit of them.

"We have put significant resources into this investigation to put Walmsley back behind bars and officers and staff are working hard with other forces, the National Crime Agency and other forces and agencies on the continent in a bid to trace him."

Meanwhile, the mayor of Liverpool called for an "immediate inquiry" into the escape.

Joe Anderson told the Press Association: "We have to call for an inquiry into what has gone on and what has happened - I am going to write to the Home Secretary.

"This is somebody who is a convicted murderer who could well be in my city or anywhere else."

Mr Anderson said it is a "tense time" in the city following recent murders and it looks like Walmsley had planned the escape well in advance.

Police said the getaway car was parked in the Adlam Crescent area of Fazakerley from around noon on Tuesday with at least one man inside, before travelling to Aintree University Hospital where it was seen parked from around 1.25pm.

It was found in the Adlam Crescent area at 8pm yesterday.

At about 3.05pm, Walmsley escaped from his guards outside the Aintree hospital as they were leaving following the medical appointment.

As they were getting into a car, two men threatened the prison officers and demanded they release him, before escaping in the Volvo.

Detectives are advising the public not to approach Walmsley if they see him.

He is described as white, 6ft tall, slim build with dark brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing dark bottoms and a dark jacket.

The man who was believed to be armed with a gun during the escape is described as having his face covered and was wearing white shoes, grey tracksuit bottoms with a stripe down each side, a grey hoody and a dark coat.

The second man, who was believed to be armed with a knife, is described as having his face covered and was wearing a green coat, dark Nike trainers and grey tracksuit bottoms.

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