Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°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

Campaigners say it is promising that schools are reporting racist incidents

Almost three incidents of racism were reported in Suffolk schools every day during the last academic year, shock new figures have revealed.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A woman has been left permanently disabled after a driver who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs smashed into her car.

Mark Bee has pushed to ensure better broadband is brought to Suffolk.

Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee last night insisted he wants to continue playing “an active role” in politics in Suffolk, as he announced he would quit his role next month.

Suffolk dialect road sign

“Howd yew hud, tergether!’’

Hunting for eggs

Will you be feeding the newborn lambs at The Museum of East Anglian Life, trying your hand at archery at Ickworth House or hunting eggs at The Middy’s Steam up this weekend?

Abbey Gardens - are you proud of Suffolk's green spaces?

Welcome to Suffolk Says – your opportunity to give your views on a range of important issues in our county.

Abellio Greater Anglia said train services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich are returning to normal but some services may still be cancelled.

Train services in Suffolk are returning to normal this morning after high winds caused widespread disruption yesterday.

B&Q is to close as many as 60 stores over the next two years as part of a restructuring of its UK and Ireland business.

Home improvement chain B&Q is to close as many as 60 stores over the next two years as part of a restructuring of its UK and Ireland business.

Mark Bee and his deputy Lisa Chambers at Endeavour House in Ipswich after they saw off last year's challenge to their leadership.

Conservative councillor Mark Bee is to step down as leader of Suffolk County Council after four years in the role.

Voting isn't the only form of political engagement

The ideological machine that is meant to serve us has gone wrong and is tyrannising us, but that doesn’t mean we should boycott the ballot box

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages