Sudbury: Two found guilty of killing

TWO men have been convicted today for their part in the killing of a 45-year-old in Suffolk.

Patrick Baker, 45, was found dead at his flat in Blackfriars, Sudbury on April 10 last year.

Simon Barnes, 31, of Raydon Way, Great Cornard, was today found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of murder by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

Neil Broomfield, 33, of Ballingdon Street, Sudbury, was found guilty of murder. The verdicts were unanimous.

The court was told that, on April 9 last year, the two defendants spent the evening together in Sudbury pubs before going to Mr Baker’s flat in the early hours of the following morning and beating him to death.

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The jury has heard that Mr Baker was found lying face down in a pool of blood after a worried neighbour contacted the police and officers forced open his front door.

David Holborn, prosecuting, said a post mortem examination found Mr Baker, who was a drug user and suffered from liver and lung disease, had suffered ten broken ribs and fractures to his nose and lower face.

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Experts called by the prosecution during the trial have claimed that the defendants could be linked to the alleged murder by DNA and fibre evidence.

Neither Barnes, nor Broomfield, gave evidence during the three-week trial.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Andy Smith of the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Major Investigation Team, said: “Patrick’s murder was a tragic crime which left the local community deeply shocked – and our sympathies remain with his family and friends.

“His murder resulted in a lengthy inquiry by the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Major Investigation Team, which was helped by the public who offered a great deal of support and information.

“I would like to thank all the staff who contributed to this enquiry and everyone in the community, including the media, for their help and support which enabled quick arrests and ultimately today’s conviction.

“Murder remains a rare crime in Suffolk, but still brings fear to the community, even when those responsible are known to the victim. At the time of Patrick’s death and afterwards, the Sudbury and Great Cornard Safer Neighbourhood Team has worked hard to ensure everyone can continue to feel and stay safe in the town.”

Sentencing has been adjourned to the week of March 28, so a pre-sentence report can be carried out on Barnes.

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