LATEST: Car found in hunt for killer sprung from jail during hospital visit

Update 1.15pm:UK police have found the car used to spring a "highly dangerous" drug dealer out of jail where he was serving life for the savage murder of a rival.

Shaun Walmsley, from Liverpool, escaped when two men armed with a knife and a gun confronted prison officers guarding him at Aintree University Hospital during a visit from the city's HMP Walton on Tuesday afternoon.

The three fled in a gold-coloured Volvo with the reg plate MW02 XHE.

Detectives have found the car in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool and it is being forensically examined.

Walmsley, 28, from Walton, was serving life with a minimum of 30 years for the murder of Anthony Duffy, 33, in May 2014.

He was lured to an address in Aintree and repeatedly stabbed and left for dead.

The mayor of Liverpool called for an "immediate inquiry" into the escape.

Joe Anderson said it is a "tense time" in the city following recent murders and it looked like Walmsley had planned the escape well in advance.

He added that he understands the two prison officers and Walmsley arrived for the hospital appointment in a taxi, but he is waiting for confirmation.

"The issues are: how it has been allowed to happen, why there were only two guards for a category A prisoner, and why he was not in a secure vehicle, if that was the case.

"Why is it the case he has been able to communicate with people outside exactly when he was attending a hospital appointment? These are questions that all need to be asked."

Police said the getaway car was parked in the Adlam Crescent area of Fazakerley from around noon on Tuesday with at least one man inside, before travelling to Aintree University Hospital where it was seen parked from around 1.25pm.

It was found in the Adlam Crescent area at 8pm last night.

At about 3.05pm, Walmsley escaped from his guards outside the Aintree hospital as they were leaving following the medical appointment.

As they were getting into a car, two men threatened the prison officers and demanded they release him, before escaping in the gold-coloured Volvo.

Detective Superintendent Natalie Perischine, of Merseyside Police, said: "Walmsley is a highly dangerous individual who was convicted of a vicious and savage murder of 33-year-old Anthony Duffy, who was stabbed multiple times during the attack which robbed him of his life in 2014.

"He took the life of this young man in a frenzied attack and in doing so ruined the lives of his victim's family and friends.

"We will be relentless in our pursuit of Walmsley and the men who helped him to escape and we need the public's help to find him and put him back behind bars.

"We are particularly interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen the gold Volvo used in the incident.

"We believe it was in the Adlam Crescent area from around noon yesterday and then was abandoned soon after the incident in Adlam Crescent. We would appeal to anyone who saw the car being abandoned to come forward as they could have vital information for our investigation."

Earlier: A murderer jailed for a minimum of 30 years is at large after two armed men ambushed the car he was travelling in during an escorted hospital visit.

Shaun Colin Walmsley, 28, fled from outside Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool as he was getting into the vehicle with prison officers.

Merseyside Police said two men believed to be carrying a gun and a knife threatened the officers and demanded they release Walmsley, before making off in a gold-coloured Volvo.

Neither of the prison guards was hurt during the incident that took place after Walmsley's appointment.

Walmsley was remanded in custody at HMP Liverpool after being sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2015, with a 30-year tariff, for the murder of Anthony Duffy.

The public is being warned not to approach the killer - described as dangerous - as he could also be in the company of the armed men who ambushed the car.

A manhunt is under way and police are carrying out extensive searches of the area.

Walmsley, of Wallace Street, Walton, is described as white, 6ft and slim, with dark brown hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen wearing dark bottoms and a dark jacket.

The gunman had his face covered and was wearing white shoes, grey tracksuit bottoms with a stripe down each side, a grey hooded top and a dark coat.

The second man, who was believed to be armed with a knife, also had his face covered and wore a green coat, dark Nike trainers and grey tracksuit bottoms.

Merseyside Police is working with the Ministry of Justice and forces across the country to find Walmsley.

Labour's shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon criticised his government counterpart's prison security record.

He said: "Liz Truss is fast becoming the secretary of state for prison escapes.

"Under her watch the prison system lurches from crisis to crisis and she seems to have no cure."


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