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Pentonville escapee Matthew Baker caught as police continue hunt for accomplice

Published 10/11/2016

Matthew Baker was arrested after two days on the run from Pentonville Prison (Metropolitan Police/PA)
Matthew Baker was arrested after two days on the run from Pentonville Prison (Metropolitan Police/PA)

A convicted attempted murderer who escaped from Pentonville Prison after reportedly making threats to enemies on Facebook has been arrested.

Matthew Baker, 28, was apprehended after three days on the run at an address in Ilford, east London, on Wednesday night, the Metropolitan Police said.

Two other people, a woman aged 21 and a man aged 33, were also arrested and taken to an east London police station for questioning.

Police are still hunting for accomplice James Whitlock, 31, who also broke out of the Victorian Category B prison in north London.

Scotland Yard launched a manhunt for the men after their escape was discovered shortly before midday on Monday.

According to reports the cellmates' beds had been stuffed with pillows to make them look like they were sleeping.

The pair are said to have used diamond-tipped cutting equipment to cut through bars before scaling a perimeter wall to freedom.

When police revealed the daring escape they warned the public not to approach the men as they could be violent.

Baker was found guilty of attempted murder in October after stabbing a man during a dispute and was due to be sentenced on Friday.

Just days after his conviction he used a phone smuggled into prison to post a sinister message to adversaries on Facebook, according to The Sun.

It said: "Let's get one thing straight to anyone who wants to say anythink behind my back.

"I know your names n where yous live n believe me we'll meet again one day n i dont forget nothic just remember that yous know who yous are."

He also alluded to a plot to break out of the prison, telling friends: "We can't change the past but we can change the future."

After his arrest on Wednesday Baker was taken to a north London police station while officers helped by the Met's Flying Squad searched for Whitlock.

He was being held at HMP Pentonville on remand after being charged conspiracy to burgle in connection with 19 ATM thefts in the south east.

The prisoners' escape sparked criticism of the condition of Pentonville and other institutions on the prisons estate.

Steve Gillan, general secretary of the Prison Officers Association claimed on Tuesday that the breakout had followed years of under-investment and staff cuts, and the focus should fall on the Government.

Whitlock is described as a white man of slim build. He has the word "Tracy" tattooed on his torso. It is not known what clothing he had on when he escaped from the prison.

Police urged members of the public not to approach him and call 999 if he is seen.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can also call police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

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From Belfast Telegraph