Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Prisoner in terrifying hospital escape jailed for six years

PUBLISHED: 17:12 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:30 19 July 2013

Andrew Farndon

Andrew Farndon

Archant

A prisoner who was sprung from custody at West Suffolk Hospital by a former jail-mate in “terrifying circumstances”, was today jailed for six years.

Andrew Farndon, 27, had pleaded guilty to escaping from custody after fleeing from outside the Bury St Edmunds hospital in January last year.

His former cellmate Garry Cowan, 44, held a gun to a prison officer’s head during the incident and threatened to shoot her if Farndon was not released.

The pair, who had shared a cell at Highpoint jail in Stradishall had hatched a plot to free Farndon before Cowan was released two weeks earlier.

They were both later tracked down in Scotland and arrested.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, the Common Serjeant of London, sentenced Farndon to six years at the Old Bailey, saying: “The evidence that you escaped is overwhelming. There was no possible defence.”

The judge said the escape created “terrifying circumstances” for the prison officers present, adding: “You knew that one of your escorts was a female officer.

“They thought it was a real gun.

“She thought she was going to die.”

He said the fact it was not simply an escape from a prison building made it a “more serious” matter.

He pointed out that although Farndon may not have known Cowan was to use an imitation firearm until the last minute, he would have been aware that there was the possibility of the “use or threat of force”.

The judge also said the whole incident would have required a “considerable amount of planning”.

Farndon was serving an indefinite jail term for smashing a motorist’s head with a claw hammer and baseball bat.

Farndon’s barrister Stephen Shay said: “He is genuinely remorseful about the ordeal he put these prison officers through.”

High security Ashworth Hospital near Liverpool - where Moors Murderer Ian Brady is held - indicated it is not prepared to accommodate him.

The judge said this left Farndon “in limbo” of sorts, and said he may well be transferred to hospital under the Mental Health Act at some stage.

Cowan and Farndon were convicted over the escape last December but their sentencing was delayed by a series of doctors’ reports into Farndon’s sanity.

While on the run, Farndon assaulted two police officers and tried to hijack two police cars.

He was arrested and in May this year jailed in Glasgow for six years. Today’s sentence will run concurrently.

Cowan, who has committed almost 500 offences, was sentenced to 10 years last month.

A former head teacher from Saffron Walden who was found with “horrific” child abuse images has avoided jail.

A man from Bedfordshire has been arrested in connection with a ram-raid in Long Melford.

More than four thousand people have signed a petition launched by a concerned Mum, urging the county council to scrap a controversial consultation into cutting free school transport.

Suffolk police is appealing for witnesses after a 17-year-old was robbed and hit in the head with a baseball by men in balaclavas.

A teenager gunned a man down outside a petrol station over a comment that he “looked like the Milky Bar Kid”, and he is still on the run from police, a trial heard.

A world-renowned Suffolk harpist accused of taking the virginity of a schoolboy more than three decades ago told police the teenager had sexually assaulted her, a court has heard.

A man and a teenager from Stowmarket have been charged with robbery along with a series of other offences.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24