Court appearance for gun escape prisoner

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THE violent criminal who escaped at gunpoint from prison guards at West Suffolk Hospital has appeared in court in Scotland.

Andrew Farndon, 26, had been taken to West Suffolk Hospital from Highpoint Prison, Stradishall, for treatment to a stab wound last Wednesday evening and escaped after a man with a gun approached and threatened the two prison officers.

Farndon, from the West Midlands, was serving an indefinite sentence for grievous bodily harm after fracturing his victim’s skull with a hammer. His escape sparked a nationwide manhunt and the public were warned not to approach the him or the gunman.

But on Friday night, after a joint operation with Suffolk Police, Strathclyde Police recaptured Farndon in the village of New Cumnock, East Ayrshire, and arrested four others in connection with the escape.

All five appeared at Ayr Sheriff’s Court Monday.

Farndon was charged with firearms and road traffic offences.

He, Alan Hornall, 23, of New Cumnock, and Iain Legge, 16, from Maidens, were charged with breech of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995.

Hornall and Iain Legge are also charged with attempting to defeat the ends of justice, along with Gary Cowan, 43, from Peterborough, and Karen Legge, 44, from New Cumnock,

The five made no plea or declaration and were remanded in custody until February 7.

Last week, justice minister Crispin Blunt said: “The most important thing at the moment is to get this man back in custody and to investigate the full facts of the case.”

He promised a full examination of all the circumstances behind the incident, which he said was not connected with the escape of another prisoner from Hewell prison a few days earlier.

Police are no longer looking for the gunman.