Man in handcuffs escapes from police custody at hospital

Joseph Grima Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Joseph Grima escaped after being taken to hospital

A man in handcuffs who complained of feeling "unwell" while in custody has escaped after being taken to hospital for treatment, police have said.

Joseph Grima, from Macclesfield, was due before South Cheshire Magistrates Court to face charges of possessing an imitation firearm, kidnap and robbery.

After asking for help, the 33-year-old was taken to Macclesfield District General Hospital at about 05:00 GMT.

While there, he evaded police while his hands were handcuffed at the front.

Mr Grima is described as approximately 5ft 5in (1.65m) tall and stocky, with brown eyes and short shaven brown hair.

He was wearing a grey Nike top and grey jogging bottoms.

Supt Debbie Hooper of Cheshire Police said the 33-year-old, who has links to Salford in Greater Manchester, should not be approached.

"There is currently a large police presence in the local area," she said.

"I would urge anyone who sees him... to call us immediately on 999."

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