Burglar strikes while on home leave

CAREER burglar Philip Baker is facing a lengthy prison sentence today after adding to his tally of nearly 200 burglaries, while on home leave from jail.

CAREER burglar Philip Baker is facing a lengthy prison sentence today after adding to his tally of nearly 200 burglaries, while on home leave from jail.

The 53-year-old Ipswich thief committed the latest in a long line of break-ins while he was serving his sentence at Norwich Prison.

The former Chantry man had been on home release when he broke into a property in Bungay on April 25 this year.

Baker appeared, via video-link from Norwich prison, at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court where he admitted the latest offence.


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Magistrates remanded him in custody and committed him to crown court for sentencing. A date is yet to be fixed

It is not the first time he has committed offences while serving at Her Majesty's pleasure.

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In 1998, he escaped while on home leave from Hollesley Bay prison and committed an array of burglaries.

And in 1999 he absconded from a bail address in Norwich and was involved in a high-speed car chase on the outskirts of the city.

Baker, formerly of Aster Road, Ipswich, and Lupin Road, Ipswich, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in 1994 for a series of burglaries and in 1998 he was sentenced to another eight years in prison for 180 offences at homes across Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

During that spree he stole property worth around £300,000 and assaulted a woman in Great Holland, Essex, with a truncheon when she disturbed him mid burglary.

At the time Ipswich Crown Court judge Nicholas Beddard said Baker had been a professional burglar for 30 years and had spent most of his life behind bars or committing offences.

The eight-year sentence was handed out for six burglaries and an offence of common assault with 176 further offences of burglary taken into consideration.

Baker has spent time at Highpoint Prison near Haverhill and Blundeston Prison near Lowestoft since he was first convicted in 1994.

Are you one of Baker's victims? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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