People helping escaped Dagenham attempted murderer and cellmate urged to turn them in

Matthew Baker, 28,

Matthew Baker, 28, - Credit: Archant

If you are assisting Matthew Baker and James Whitlock, you are “potentially committing a crime”.

James Whitlock

James Whitlock - Credit: Archant

That was the message from police as the search for the escaped Pentonville Prison inmates continues. The men, who shared the same cell, were reported missing on Monday.

Det Chief Insp Steve Heatley, from Islington CID, said: “It is very likely that they are being assisted by others, possibly with somewhere to stay, clothing and money – in order to evade capture.

“I would appeal to anyone who is helping that they are potentially committing a crime and would encourage them to contact us so that we can bring this matter to a safe and swift conclusion.”

He added: “Our investigation continues to move at a fast pace and we are working closely with our colleagues from specialist units to find Whitlock and Baker as soon as possible and return them to prison.

“We have received a positive response to our appeals and the flow of information from the public so far has been very good. However, I would continue to encourage anyone with information about the current whereabouts of these two men to contact either the police or Crimestoppers in confidence, as soon as possible.”

Baker, 28, was found guilty of attempted murder two week ago. He stabbed a man in Dagenham following a dispute and was due to be sentenced on Friday.

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Whitlock, 31, was on remand having been charged with conspiracy to burgle, namely 19 offences of theft from ATMs at various locations in the south-east of England between December 2015 and August 2016.

Police have urged people to call 999 should they see either man, and not to approach them as “they could become violent”. Alternatively, to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.