Suffolk: Fugitive jailed after gunpoint hold-up of police cars while on the run

Andrew Farndon

Andrew Farndon - Credit: Archant

A DANGEROUS prisoner who escaped at a Suffolk hospital has been jailed for more than five years after trying to hijack two police cars at gunpoint while on the run.

Highpoint prisoner Andrew Farndon was caught when a police officer disarmed him and then drove at a hedge with the convict still clinging on his vehicle.

Farndon sparked a nationwide manhunt on January 25 last year after he was freed at gunpoint by former jailmate Garry Cowan.

The daring escape happened as Farndon arrived at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds to be treated for self-inflicted stab wounds accompanied by two prison guards.

After fleeing police traced him to New Cumnock in East Ayrshire, Scotland, and kept him under surveillance.

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Farndon was eventually recaptured after crashing a car he was driving.

However, not before he had brandished an imitation handgun following the crash in an attempt to take an unmarked police car from PC Alexander Strachan, whom he did not know was a policeman.

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Another officer, Pc John McGuigan, then arrived at the scene in his vehicle only for Farndon to again use the fake handgun to demand the officer get out of his car.

However, Pc McGuigan drove off with Farndon holding on to the driver’s door while aiming the weapon at him.

The officer grabbed the gun off Farndon before driving into a hedge to dislodge the convict who was clinging on to the vehicle.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Farndon admitted using an imitation gun in an attempt to rob the officers.

The 27-year-old also admitted three other firearms charges and was sentenced to five years and three months by Lord Matthews.

Garry Cowan was found guilty in December following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court of holding-up the taxi at gunpoint 15 days after being released from prison.

During the hold-up he had pointed an the weapon at the head of a female prison guard.

Farndon had been serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection after fracturing a victim’s skull in a hammer attack.

Farndon and Cowan are due to be sentenced for the escape offences at Woolwich Crown Court next month.

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