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Murder suspect plotted his own escape from prison on his way to court
A murder suspect, who was broken out of a prison custody van, has today admitted plotting his own escape.
John Anslow, aged 33, was being transported from HMP Hewell near Bromsgrove – where he was being held after being charged with murder of a man in Staffordshire – to court, when he escaped from the van in January 2012.
Anslow, formerly of Tipton, West Midlands, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to escape from lawful custody during his trial at Woolwich Crown Court this afternoon.
The plea follows more than a week of legal arguments during which four other men admitted to helping Anslow plan and carry out his escape.
Paul Cadby, aged 47 of Woodcote Road, Erdington, Birmingham; Luke Hazel, aged 24, of HMP Hewell, formerly Hockley, Birmingham; Moysha Shepherd, aged 23, of Hamstead Road, Great Barr, Birmingham and Ryan Powell, aged 21, Shenstone Road, Ladywood, Birmingham, all pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to assist Anslow in his escape from lawful custody.
Six other people – five men and one woman – are still on trial in connection with the escape.
Following the news of Anslow’s guilty plea, Detective Superintendent Daryn Elton, head of specialist operations at West Mercia Police, said: “We are satisfied that John Anslow has pleaded guilty to conspiring to escape from custody.
“His admission of guilt means that we can be in no doubt that there was a deliberate and planned effort on his behalf to escape from lawful custody.
“However, as six people remain defendants in an ongoing trial, in order to avoid prejudicing those proceedings, we are unable to go into too much detail about the case at this time.
“What we can say though is that Anslow engineered his own escape via mobile phone while in prison. He used this phone to contact Paul Cadby – who was pivotal in organising Anslow’s escape outside the prison walls.
“As many may remember from appeals at the time, Anslow was broken out of the prison van by three men who got out of a Volkswagen Scirocco. This vehicle was later located and forensic evidence found inside the car leads us to believe that Moysha Shephard and Ryan Powell were two of the men involved in this part of the escape. “We can’t at this stage give the exact details of how Luke Hazel was involved in the conspiracy as it would mean disclosing evidence which has not yet been heard by the court. “West Mercia Police’s involvement in this investigation has been around finding those responsible for conspiring to break Anslow out of prison, which now – due to his own admission and those of others – is no longer in dispute. “This has been a complex and challenging inquiry and on behalf of the force, I would like to thank our colleagues at Staffordshire Police, who led the investigation to find Anslow following his escape. “They, along with officers from West Midlands Police, have been vital in helping us with our inquiries into the conspiracy and bringing John Anslow, Paul Cadby, Moysha Shepherd, Ryan Powell and Luke Hazel to justice.”
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