Four held over hunt for escaped murderer Shaun Walmsley

Four men have been arrested in connection with the hunt for murderer Shaun Walmsley following his escape from custody last week.

The arrests took place in Poole, Dorset - hundreds of miles from where the escape happened in Merseyside.

Armed officers fired tyre deflation rounds at a Vauxhall Corsa on Friday afternoon as part of a planned operation along Haven Road in the Canford Cliffs area.

The four were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

No injuries were sustained and no other weapons were fired.

The men are now helping Merseyside officers with their enquiries.

Walmsley was leaving Aintree University Hospital on Tuesday 21 February when prison officers were ambushed.

The 28-year-old had been due to return to HMP Walton.

The two attackers, who were armed with a gun and a knife, fled with Walmsley in a gold Volvo with the registration number MW02 XHE.

Walmsley had been serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years for the murder of 33-year-old Anthony Duffy in May 2014.

Mr Duffy was repeatedly stabbed and left for dead after being lured to an address in Aintree.

Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Dudfield, from Dorset Police, said the force had responded following reports that "a number of people involved in the unlawful escape of Shaun Walmsley were travelling through Dorset".

DCI Dudfield added: "I appreciate that due to the nature of the incident there may have been some concerns in the local community, so I would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding while these necessary arrests were made."

Another two men, aged 25 and 27, and a 26-year-old woman, all from Norris Green in Liverpool, have been released after being arrested in connection with the escape.

It is thought that Merseyside Police are working with other forces overseas as they continue to search for Walmsley.