Murderer Shaun Walmsley, who escaped jail 18 months ago, is arrested

Alix Culbertson, news reporter

A convicted murderer who has been on the run from prison for 18 months has been arrested.

Shaun Walmsley escaped last February during a visit to Aintree University Hospital in Merseyside from HMP Walton.

The 29-year-old was helped to escape when two people armed with a knife and a gun confronted prison guards outside the hospital and fled with Walmsley in a gold Volvo.

His recapture came when armed officers stopped a car in Harehills, Leeds, on Tuesday.

Walmsley was serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years for murdering drugs gang rival Anthony Duffy in 2014.

Mr Duffy was lured to an address in Aintree in May 2014 and repeatedly stabbed.

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "Escaped prisoner Shaun Walmsley is back in custody following a proactive operation by officers from Merseyside Police and West Yorkshire Police earlier yesterday."

He has been charged with escape from lawful custody and will appear at Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Walmsley featured on Sky News' "One Day of Crime" earlier this month.

A reward of £20,000 of Walmsley's own money was on offer for information leading to the apprehension of the prisoner and his return to jail.

The money was seized following his arrest and murder conviction.

It is not clear whether a member of the public came forward with information on his whereabouts.

Officers were considering the possibility that Walmsley could be elsewhere in the UK or may have fled abroad so were working with police forces in Europe and the National Crime Agency.

They described him as dangerous and asked the public not to approach him.