G4S Prisoner Transport Van - Hijacked On Trinnity Way Salford
Two men who were sprung from a prison van in Salford were on trial for gun offences.
The two – Kirk Bradley and Tony Downes, both 25 and both from Merseyside – were taken out of the van when it was rammed by an armed gang on Trinity Way at 8.30am today.
The gang, armed with a gun and a sledgehammer, made off in a Saab which was found abandoned on Barrow Street, Salford, a short time later.
Bradley, of Dovecot, and Downes, of no fixed abode, were being transported to Liverpool Crown Court when the gang struck.
Both men are on trial with four others accused of conspiring to possess firearms with intent to endanger life. The pair also deny conspiracy to damage property with intent to endanger life.
One security guard was taken to hospital after this morning's raid. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening. Inquiries to trace the gang are ongoing.
Det Sgt Paul Copplestone, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "We are sure that this incident was witnessed by many people at a very busy time of the morning.
“The Saab was driven off towards the M602 motorway.
"We would urge witnesses to contact us."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 872 5050 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Merseyside Police also appealed for help in tracing the pair. Officers urged the public not to approach the men.
RWB Salford asked Salford BNP officials Gary Tumulty and Keith Fairhurst for their response. 'It's outrageous that something like this can happen in broad daylight, on one of the busiest routes in Greater Manchester' said Mr Tumulty. 'I hope the police catch these two men before they cause a danger to the public'.
Keith Fairhurst added, 'No doubt that the keystone cops of Greater Manchester Police will blunder about, follow false leads, and generally fail in their attempts to apprehend these criminals, and tomorrow, will be back targeting the drivers of Salford. I would suggest that in future, any dangerous criminals are given a police escort to and from court, like they used to do, but that would be too easy wouldn't it?'