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Court clears prison escapee of murder

A man who escaped from a prison van as he was being driven to court has been cleared of murder, BBC reports.

John Anslow, 33, from Tipton, had been charged with killing Richard Deakin when he was freed by a masked gang near HMP Hewell, Redditch in January 2012.

The fugitive was arrested in Cyprus and brought back to the UK, but was cleared by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court.

He admitted a charge of conspiracy to escape from lawful custody and was jailed for seven years in December.

Deakin was shot by a masked gunman as he lay in bed at his home in Chasetown, Cannock, on the morning of 5 July 2010.

Anslow was charged for the killing in January 2012 but was freed from a prison van as he was being driven to a court hearing.

Police launched an appeal to find him and he was eventually traced to the Alancak region of Northern Cyprus, in March 2013.

Upon his return to the UK, Anslow was charged for the prison van ambush. He admitted escaping lawful custody in September, but denied any role in Deakin’s murder.

Two men – David Harrison, 63, and Daryl Dickens, 34, from the Bilston area, were handed life sentences for Deakin’s murder in December 2012.

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