Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°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

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.

shares

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.

shares

0 comments

Lord Deben John Gummer, Christine Block, from Deben Estuary Partnership, Karen Thomas, from Water Management Alliance, Graham Henderson, from DEP, Simon Amstutz, from AONB, Therese Coffey MP, David Kemp from the Environment Agency, and Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Andy Smith gathered to launch the Deben Estuary Plan.

Three years of work have created a new community-led blueprint to protect and manage one of Suffolk’s treasures, the River Deben estuary

Detectives investigating a burglary at a home in Colchester have issued an efit of a man they would like to identify in connection with the incident.

Age UK is looking for volunteers to take part in a video

Bosses at Age UK Suffolk are looking for 10 older people to take part in a new promotional video that is being made to show off the work of the charity.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail delays at Colchester have been caused by a broken down train.

Rendlesham Care Centre rated ‘good’ by CQC (L-R) Danielle Brown, Administrator; Liz Slight, Home Manager; Maxine Crisp, Carer; Fabian Lossa, Carer; Rachael Last, Receptionist

Rendlesham Care Centre was found to provide a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service according to the CQC report.

A diversion has been put in place

Severe traffic delays in Chelmsford have been caused by a traffic collision.

Woodbridge Carnival fireworks 2015.

People in an east Suffolk town are being asked to vote with their cash if they want a fireworks display next year.

Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds, which is being redeveloped.

Plans for more than 100 flats near the train station in Bury St Edmunds - an area of the town that is earmarked for regeneration - have been recommended to be refused.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey (centre) with members of her team and Fern Howard (left) from the Alzheimer’s Society

It follows a visit by the Alzheimer’s Society, who run the Dementia Friends scheme, to help Dr Coffey and her staff understand the effect of dementia on everyday lives.

Lifeboat

Coastguard services were called to rescue a teenager in Corton, near Lowestoft yesterday evening.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages