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Escaped prisoner back in custody

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

Andrew Farndon, 26, who was arrested yesterday in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, was 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.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said: "On Friday officers from Strathclyde Police arrested Andrew Farndon in New Cumnock, Ayrshire. He is currently detained in police custody.

"A further four people, three men aged 16, 33, 43 and a woman, aged 44, have been arrested and are presently detained in police custody for allegedly attempting to pervert the ends of justice. It is anticipated that all four will appear at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday, January 30."

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 and emergency department in a taxi accompanied by two guards at 6.50pm on Wednesday evening.

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

Farndon's arrest came as his mother made a public appeal urging him to contact police.

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.


From Belfast Telegraph