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Send this conman back home to serve his sentence
12:30pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
PRESSURE is building for Christopher Baines to be returned to Britain to serve a prison sentence after the fraudster was apprehended in Texas last weekend.
Baines was arrested in San Antonio on Friday night after the execution of an arrest warrant from Madison, Georgia.
And authorities in the US have now appealed for British police to take custody of Baines in the fear that he may disappear when released on bail.
The conman, who was sentenced to five years in prison for 30 counts of fraud after a trial in Swindon last year, established a history of absconding from police jurisdiction when he fled the country ahead of his trial.
Wiltshire Police have applied for extraditions, and the officer in charge of the case is on annual leave while the Crown Prosecution Service puts together the international arrest warrant and expeditions order.
With time ticking away, the police are being urged to act quickly to bring Baines back to the country. Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon, said: “This should be a simple logistical issue.
“The principle is that people who abscond must be brought to justice.
“It would only require one or two British police officers flying over there and bringing him back with them.
“He has been convicted and sentenced already, and so it should be a straightforward matter.
“I would hope the police would be able to do that in a fairly efficient way.”
Robert added he would do what was in his power to make sure Baines was delivered back to Britain.
“I have an interest as a local MP and the police should realise that there is a strong public interest that this man is brought to justice and serves his time in a British prison,” he said.
“He has been sentenced to five years and has to serve that time.
“I will be doing anything I can to help make that happen.”
Wiltshire Police have reiterated they are going through the procedures to allow for extradition. A spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police have applied to the Crown Prosecution Service for expeditions and an international arrest warrant for Christopher Baines.
“Baines has been charged with a number of counts of fraud by false representation following his activity in Wiltshire dating back to 2011. We are working with a number of partner agencies to ensure that justice is done in this case.”
In yesterday’s Adver, Carl Jones, assistant chief of police at Madison Police Department, said the Wiltshire force needed to act quickly.
“We hope the UK authorities may be able to pick him up from Texas for extradition before he is released on bail,” he said.
“At some point in time we may have to release our hold on him, so if UK police could pick him up that would be for the best.”