Hunt widens for Manchester prison van escapees

Kirk Bradley and Tony Downes
Image caption Kirk Bradley and Tony Downes were on trial for firearms offences

An international search has been mounted for two men who escaped from a prison van after it was ambushed by an armed gang in Manchester.

Kirk Bradley and Tony Downes, both 25 and from Liverpool, fled on Monday morning following the incident en route to Liverpool Crown Court.

The pair are accused of leaving a hand grenade outside a house which turned out to be Kenny Dalglish's home.

Police said efforts were being made to see if they had left the country.

Mr Bradley and Mr Downes stand accused of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to commit criminal damage with intent to endanger life.

One of the charges relates to an incident in July 2009 in which a live grenade was dumped in shrubbery outside the home of Kenny Dalglish in Birkdale near Southport.

It is alleged that Bradley and Downes were part of a plot targeting a neighbour of the Liverpool manager.

The gang fled in a Saab after the attack at about 0830 BST on Monday. The car was found abandoned about a mile away in Barrow Street, Salford.

Members of the public have been urged not to approach the men and to contact the police.

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