Dangerous prisoner on the run in UK after van ambushed
A dangerous prisoner charged with murder is on the run after three masked men ambushed a prison van, police said today.
John Anslow, 31, escaped following the attack on the prison van taking three inmates from Hewell prison in England to Stafford Crown Court this morning, West Mercia Police said.
Police warned he was considered "dangerous" and was one of five men charged with the murder of Richard Deakin, who was shot dead in 2010.
Three men, armed with sledgehammers, used a silver Volkswagen Scirocco to stop the prison van before smashing its windows and punching its driver in the face.
Anslow, who is described as white, 5ft 10in and of medium build, with short, straight, dark brown hair, escaped.
The two other prisoners remained in the van.
Detective Inspector Jon Marsden said: "Three men wearing balaclavas, two of whom were carrying sledgehammers, got out of a silver Volkswagen Scirocco, and smashed the windscreen and driver's window of the GEO Amey prison escort van.
"The van driver was punched but no serious injuries were sustained by escort staff. There were two other prisoners in the van at the time, neither of whom were released."
He went on: "Anslow has recently been charged with murder and is considered dangerous.
Police believe Anslow and the three masked men switched to a silver Mercedes car soon after the attack on the van.
Anslow was charged with murder on January 18 and was on his way to Stafford Crown Court, where his case was listed this morning for a preliminary hearing.
Mr Deakin, 27, died after being shot while alone at his home in July 5 2010.
Police launched various appeals for information following his death, including a feature on the BBC's Crimewatch programme and the offer of a £20,000 reward for information about his killing.