Lithuanian house raider faces deportation on release from jail

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A HOUSE raider who attacked the owner and a friend when they disturbed him in the early hours is behind bars.

Burnley Crown Court heard how drunken Egidijus Baikovas, who has a long criminal record and has spent almost a third of his life in jail, had gone out armed with a screwdriver to break into a property. He was in the unoccupied premises in Cooper Street, Nelson, which was about to be let, when owner Mohammed Rafique and his friend Mohammed Chaudhry spotted the light on at 3 a.m.

Mr Rafique opened the door and went inside, and Baikovas hit him repeatedly to the head and face. The defendant then hit Mr Chaudhry with a glass bottle, which smashed on his hand. A scuffle followed, the victims took their assailant to the ground and were said to have dished out “an element of summary justice”.

The hearing was told Baikovas, who had blown his £190 weekly wage on alcohol and needed cash to buy food, had his first brush with the law when he was nine. He went to prison for the first time when he was 17 and had spent 10 years locked up.

Baikovas (33), of Carr Road, Nelson, had admitted burglary and two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm. He was jailed for 18 months and faces deportation to his native Lithuania on his release.

Mr Anthony Stephenson (prosecuting) said Mr Rafique and Mr Chaudhry suffered minor injuries. Mr Rafique was bruised and had a cut hand and his friend had a cut hand from which a piece of glass had to be removed.

The defendant had no previous convictions in this country, but had a record in the country of his birth. The prosecutor added: “There is still an active interest in this man by the Lithuanian authorities.”

Mr Stephenson said Baikovas had told a probation officer he had spent more time in prison than out. If he was jailed for 12 months or more, he faced automatic deportation, the prosecutor said.

For Baikovas, Mr Martin Hackett said he drank to excess on occasions. He was in full-time work, despite his alcohol problems and had held down the job for 16 months. He needed money for food.

Sentencing, Recorder Philip Grundy said Baikovas had an “appalling record” for violence and dishonesty, which included a three-year prison term for robbery and assault. He told him: “You had spent all your wages on drink.”