Two men escape in armed prison van ambush
Ryan MacDonald and Stevie McMullen were freed as they were travelling through rush-hour traffic in Salford
An armed gang rammed a prison van and sprung two men being taken from a privately-run jail for a court appearance.
Police were tonight hunting for Ryan MacDonald, 20, and Stevie McMullen, 31, who were freed as their van drove through rush-hour traffic in Salford on their way to Manchester Crown Court.
McMullen – on trial for conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit arson and possession of a firearm – was singled out by police as a potential danger. MacDonald was to be sentenced for conspiracy to commit robbery.
Witnesses said three men wearing balaclavas attacked the GEOAmey van, and one smashed the windows with a sawn-off shotgun to free the men. The guards in the van were left shaken but uninjured.
“I am concerned about them being on the loose, they are responsible for some serious offences,” said Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan.
“I don’t think they pose a risk unless approached so it’s really important that if anyone sees them they contact us straightaway.”
They were believed to have been driven off in a Saab getaway car which was later found abandoned in the nearby Ordsall Estate in Salford.
Three men were seen running into the estate while two others jumped on a motorbike which was later found abandoned.
A woman, 28, and man, 24, were later arrested on the estate in connection with the escape but there was no sign of the two escapees, police said.
The men were being taken from Altcourse prison in Liverpool, a jail run by G4S, and were being taken to Manchester Crown Court by GEOAmey, a private company responsible for moving thousands of prisoners every week. A third man in the van did not escape.
The raid was close to the same stretch of road where Liverpool gangsters Tony Downes and Kirk Bradley escaped in an ambush in July 2011 as they were being taken from Strangeways jail, in Manchester, to their trial at Liverpool Crown Court. They were arrested the following year after fleeing to Holland.
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
First full-length look is finally here
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Mia Khalifa: Pornhub star claims Drake sent her 'cringeworthy' naked photos on Instagram
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope