Career burglar gets new jail term

A ONE-man crime wave with around 200 burglaries to his name will spend years behind bars after adding to his tally while on day release from prison.

A ONE-man crime wave with around 200 burglaries to his name will spend years behind bars after adding to his tally while on day release from prison.

Compulsive thief Philip Baker is today serving a further five-year jail term for breaking in to another property even though he was still serving a previous sentence.

The serial offender from Ipswich has a history of committing crimes while serving out his time. In 1998 he went missing when on home leave from Hollesley Bay open prison to carry out a series of burglaries.

The 53-year-old's latest abuse of trust came when the former Chantry man broke into a property in Bungay after being allowed out of Norwich Prison. The incident took place on April 25 this year.

Baker pleaded guilty to the break-in when he appeared via video link at a magistrates' court hearing in Ipswich in May. The case was then sent to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing by Judge Peter De Mille.

A career criminal, Baker, formerly of Aster Road and Lupin Road, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 1994 for a series of burglaries.

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In 1998 he got another eight years for 180 offences at homes across Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. During the spree he stole property valued at around £300,000 and hit a woman with a truncheon as she confronted him after he broke into her home in Great Holland, Essex.

When he was imprisoned for these offences at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Beddard said Baker had been a professional burglar for 30 years and had spent most of his life in jail or breaking the law.

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

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

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