Shackled fugitive ‘ran through town in chains’

Wanted Russell Frankland, who is said to have attacked security guards before fleeing custody.
Wanted Russell Frankland, who is said to have attacked security guards before fleeing custody.
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Police are still hunting a shackled fugitive, who ran through Scarborough’s streets in chains after fleeing from custody.

Sources have described Russell Frankland’s escape as being “like something from the Keystone Cops”, after the suspected robber made a dash for freedom moments after being sent to prison.

Scarborough Justice Court. Picture Richard 141217b

Scarborough Justice Court. Picture Richard 141217b

He’s understood to have pushed over two guards escorting him into a prison van, before sprinting past Scarborough Police Station and along Victoria Road - and then disappearing

Police have since been unable to track down strapping Frankland, who the public have been warned not to approach.

And nobody has yet been able to explain how a 6ft man running along Victoria Road in chains simply vanished without a trace.

“It’s absolutely incredible how this has been allowed to happen,” said a source.

“He was on the step of a van, before shoving the two guards over and running along.

“His arms were chained - but obviously not his legs.”

It’s still unclear which body is at fault for allowing the 40-year-old to escape, although the Ministry of Justice is understood to be responsible for transporting prisoners.

Attempt to contact the ministry for comment have so far proved unsuccessful.

But although the force has so far drawn a blank in its attempt to locate wanted Frankland, Detective Inspector Paul Healy, of Scarborough CID, claims it’s only a matter of time before he’s behind bars.

He said: “Russell, if you see or hear this appeal, I want you to hear this clear message. We are going to catch you and return you to custody.

“Hand yourself in now, by remaining at large you are only delaying the inevitable and making matters worse for yourself.

The incident happened under darkness at around 4.45pm on Thursday December 4.

He had appeared at court charged with robbery and burglary, which were alleged to have been committed in Scarborough in November.

He had been remanded into custody at the hearing, to appear at York Crown Court on Friday December 19 for his next hearing.

Police describe Frankland as white, 6ft tall with a medium build and brown hair.

Although it is believed Frankland may still be in Scarborough, he also has links in the Rochdale area of Lancashire.

And Detective Inspector Healy fired off a warning to anybody protecting him, adding: “If you are helping to shield Frankland from the police, you are not helping him.

“In fact you may be even committing offences yourself. If this is the case, you face the prospect of arrest and prosecution.”

Anyone who can help to locate Russell Frankland should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option1 and pass the information the Force Control Room.

For those who would refer to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting reference number 12140209790.