Escapee tried to hijack two police cars at gunpoint

Escaped prisoner Andrew Farndon.
Escaped prisoner Andrew Farndon.
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A gun-wielding thug who tried to hijack two police cars while on the run from Highpoint prison was jailed for six years.

Andrew Farndon, 27, escaped in January 2012 after former jail mate Garry Cowan threatened prison officers with a replica gun at West Suffolk Hospital where Farndon was being treated for self-inflicted stab wounds.

They fled to New Cumnock, Ayrshire, where police spotted him days later and followed him until he crashed into a fence. But when police approached he held up a fake handgun and tried to hijack officers’ cars.

Farndon pled guilty on Tuesday at Glasgow High Court to assaulting PCs Alexander Strachan and John McGuigan, presenting imitation firearms at them and attempting to rob them, on January 28, 2012. He also admitted three other offences of possessing blank ammunition and an imitation firearm and using it with intent to resist or prevent arrest.

Passing sentence judge Lord Matthews said the courts take a ‘very dim view’ of people who present firearms of any kind.

Farndon was jailed in 2007 for grievous bodily harm.

Advocate depute Andrew Brown QC told the court that on January 27, 2012, PC McGuigan who was driving alone in an unmarked police car saw Farndondriving with others in Cumnock, where he crashed into a fence.

Other officers, including PC Strachan, arrived and he asked if everyone was okay but did not tell them he was a police officer.

Mr Brown said Farndon pointed a pistol at PC Strachan and said ‘Give me your car’.

The court heard PC Allison identified himself as police and PC Strachan walked back to the police car and removed the keys but Farndon continued to threaten them.

PC McGuigan pulled up in his car and Farndon, holding the gun, opened the door and shouted “Get out”.

Mr Brown said: “PC McGuigan then drove his vehicle away with the accused Farndon still holding onto the driver’s door.”

PC McGuigan grabbed the gun and threw it into the footwell before using a hedge to dislodge Farndon.

Defence advocate Lorenzo Alonzi told the court that Farndon escaped from prison to go to Scotland to be with his ill mother.

Farndon and Cowan will be sentenced for the escape at Woolwich Crown Court in June.