By Connie Osborne Thursday 19 September 2013 Updated: 20/09 01:25
A MURDER suspect has admitted escaping from a prison custody van as he travelled from HMP Hewell Prison.
John Anslow, formerly of Tipton in West Midlands, pleaded guilty to conspiring to escape from lawful custody at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday (September 18).
The 33-year-old was being transported from the Tardebigge prison to court in January last year, where he was held after being charged with the murder of a man in 2010.
The plea followed more than a week of legal arguments during which four other men admitted to helping Anslow plan and carry out his escape.
These included Paul Cadby, aged 47 and of Woodcote Road, Erdington, Luke Hazel, aged 24, and formerly from Hockley, Moysha Shepherd, aged 23, and of Hamstead Road in Great Barr, and Ryan Powell, aged 21 and of Shenstone Road in Ladywood.
The court heard how Anslow engineered his own escape through a mobile phone while in prison and used the phone to contact Paul Cadby, who was also pivotal in organising his escape.
He was sprung by three men who got out of a Volkswagen Scirocco. The vehicle was later located and forensic evidence found inside the car led police to believe two of the men involved were Moysha Shepherd and Ryan Powell.
Six other people, five men and one woman, are still on trial in connection with the escape.
Det Sup Daryn Elton, head of specialist operations at West Mercia Police, said he was satisfied Anslow pleaded guilty.
"His admission of guilt means 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.
"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."
He added this had been a complex and challenging inquiry and thanked Staffordshire Police which 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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