Ilford woman admits harbouring fugitive brother after Pentonville prison break last year

Matthew Baker escaped from Pentonville Prison. Picture: Met Police

Matthew Baker escaped from Pentonville Prison. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old woman has admitted hiding her brother at her Ilford home after he made a daring escape from Pentonville prison in November.

Kelly Baker pleaded guilty to harbouring an escaped prisoner at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday after her brother was found by police officers under her bed two days after his escape.

Matthew Baker, 29, went on the run in November last year after breaking out of HMP Pentonville alongside his cell mate, prolific burglar James Whitlock, 32.

He had received a life sentence in March 2015 for the attempted murder of a man who was savagely attacked with a glass and knife.

The pair had somehow managed to use cutting tools to saw through the cell bar and open an external window cover.

The inmates then made their escape across the roof of the prison towards the front of the jail.

The court heard that they tied a bed sheet to a CCTV camera pole and swung themselves over the perimeter wall, onto a flat roof at the car park.

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Two days later, Baker was found hiding under a bed at his sister’s home in Ilford with dyed hair.

He had suffered a fractured leg from falling over a low wall during the break out.

Both Baker and Whitlock admitted breaking prison at earlier hearings and appeared to be sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court.

In court, they attempted to explain their actions by saying the murder of an inmate the month before their escape had made them fear for their lives.

They were told the violence at Pentonville was no excuse for their behaviour by Judge Jane Sullivan.

Baker was handed 30 months in prison, which will begin immediately after the minimum term of his life sentence has been served.

Whitlock was given 24 months to be served consecutively with his current sentence of 54 months for conspiracy to burgle.

Matthew’s girlfriend, Chelsea Gibson, 25, from Bow, also pleaded guilty to assisting an escaped prisoner.

Both women will be sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday, 3 July.