Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

17:12 18 July 2013

Andrew Farndon

Andrew Farndon


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.


The A120

New figures have revealed journey times on the A120 double during rush hour – leading one campaigner to dub it “no more than a country lane”.

Fish rescued by the Gipping Angling Preservation Society

A former angling club secretary appeared in court yesterday charged with dishonestly abusing his position to make personal financial gains of more than £10,000.

Local charities gathered together at Greshams in
 Ipswich  for the launch of the Rotary Orwell Walk
 2017 .

One of the most popular and successful fundraising events in Suffolk has been officially launched.

Network Rail will look at the pedestrian crossings in a bid to speed services.

Rail improvements with the start of the new franchise must not be confined to the main line to London, delegates at Suffolk’s rail conference heard yesterday.

Work has begun in the new Felixstowe Fire and Police Station.
L-R Mark Hardingham,Cllr Matthew Hicks,Mayor Jan Garfield,Gareth Wilson and Tim Passmore.

Work has started on the latest joint police and fire service base in Suffolk following a “ground breaking” ceremony yesterday.

Frankel welcomes guests to Newmarket National Heritage Centre

Her Majesty The Queen is to officially open the new £15million National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in the Suffolk town of Newmarket, where many of her own horses are trained and stabled.

A driver has reported they may have seen missing airman Corrie McKeague walking towards Honington in the early hours of September 24

A driver who may have seen missing airman Corrie McKeague has come forward to police.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24