John Anslow prison van escape: Six appear in court

John Anslow
Image caption Police believe John Anslow escaped in a Volkswagen car

Six men have appeared in court charged over the escape of an inmate from a prison van as it travelled to court.

John Anslow, who was on remand accused of murdering a man in Staffordshire in 2010, was freed by masked men near HMP Hewell in Worcestershire in 2012.

The 32-year-old, from Tipton, has been on the run since.

The men, aged between 20 and 47, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court and are due to appear at the city's crown court on 15 March.

They are all charged with conspiracy to assist in the escape, in January last year.

A £10,000 reward is on offer for information leading to the prisoner's detention. Staffordshire Police has said officers are keeping an open mind about whether he still remains in the UK.

He was charged in connection with the murder of Richard Deakin in Chasetown, in July 2010.

Seven men were arrested at addresses in Redditch, Dudley and Birmingham on Wednesday.

The seventh man was released on police bail.

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