Hereford & Worcester

Man held after prisoner John Anslow escapes prison van

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Media captionJustice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said it was a "well-orchestrated armed ambush"

A man has been arrested in connection with the escape from a prison van of a man charged with murder.

The man was detained on Monday night after John Anslow's escape after a "well-orchestrated armed ambush", Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said.

Mr Anslow, 31, who is from Tipton and considered "dangerous", escaped in Tardebigge, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire on Monday morning.

Police are still looking for Mr Anslow and have appealed for information.

The arrested man was detained after five search warrants were executed.

Detectives investigating the escape carried out the warrants alongside armed officers, at a series of addresses in Tipton.

"The searches of these addresses is just one element of this fast-moving investigation," said Det Supt Martin Evans, of Staffordshire Police, the force leading the hunt.

"Police have arrested a male from an address in the Tipton area in connection with the escape. He remains in police custody."

Earlier, West Mercia Police described how three balaclava-clad men, carrying sledgehammers, smashed the windscreen and driver's window of the prison escort van Mr Anslow was in.

Image caption Police believe John Anslow escaped in a Volkswagen car

He was the first category A prisoner to escape custody in more than 17 years.

Mr Anslow was charged with murder by Staffordshire Police last week and was being taken from Hewell Prison, in Redditch, to Stafford Crown Court when the ambush took place.

Police said the men got away in a silver Volkswagen Scirocco and believe they switched to a silver Mercedes car in Stoney Lane, Bromsgrove, soon afterwards.

Det Insp Jon Marsden, of West Mercia Police, said: "Anslow has recently been charged with murder and is considered dangerous."

Mr Anslow is one of five men accused of the murder of Richard Deakin, who was shot in Chasetown, Staffordshire, in 2010.

Police understand he has "strong connections" around England, including in London.

He is 5ft 10in (1.8m) tall, of medium build, with short, straight, dark brown hair.

Police said the van driver was punched in the ambush.

There were two other prisoners in the van at the time, neither of whom was released, police said.

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