Suspect escapes in armed ambush

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The Independent Online

A suspected burglar escaped from custody today when an armed accomplice ambushed his prison van as he was taken to court.

Wayne Joseph Connor, 20, was driven away after the hold-up a short distance from Feltham Young Offenders' Institution, in west London.

The prison van driver required hospital treatment for cuts and bruises after he was forced to stop at about 7.30am.

Police cordoned off several roads as they investigated the escape in Bedfont Road, near Bedfont Lake, in Feltham.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Police were called at 7.48am on January 12 to reports of a prison van stopped by a suspect, believed armed, near Bedfont Lake, Feltham.

"Local officers and London Ambulance Service attended. The driver of the van is believed to have been assaulted.

"He was taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital. He is in a stable condition. No shots were fired.

"A prisoner from the van has absconded and made off with the suspect in a vehicle."

A spokesman for Serco, which is responsible for prisoner transfers, said the vehicle was travelling to Woolwich Crown Court.

He said the driver suffered minor injuries and another member of staff was unhurt. Two other prisoners were on board.

The spokesman said: "We are assisting fully with the police inquiry."

A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: "We were called by police at approximately 7.30am this morning to Bedfont Road to reports of an incident.

"We sent two ambulance crews and one officer to the scene. Staff treated an adult male and took him to hospital."

Connor, who is charged with aggravated burglary, was due to appear alongside two other men.