Man who stole bomb kit fears retaliation by IRA

THE MAN who unwittingly took a bomb-making kit from a train said yesterday he was scared stiff of what might happen if the IRA 'gets him'.

Jeff Baker, an unemployed father-of-two, fears the terrorists - who police believe had planned to plant the device at the Conservative Party conference at Bournemouth in October - may punish him for stealing it.

'We're talking about people who don't stop at anything to make their point - they could do anything to get me back,' Mr Baker, 31, said. 'These are terrorists who blow up people or take their kneecaps off.'

Anti-terrorist officers released Mr Baker without charge after questioning him about the seven kilograms of Semtex he found in a holdall he stole from a train at Reading station on Thursday.

Mr Baker told Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist detectives that he took the holdall from the Manchester-to- Bournemouth train because he thought it belonged to a 'little old lady I was helping off the train'.

He said: 'I helped her out of the carriage and offered it to her. She had several bags and was struggling a bit. I said, 'There you go madam' and offered her the holdall. But she said, 'Oh no young man. That's not mine'.

'She then disappeared down the platform, quite fast. I thought, 'Oh well, I'll keep it' and walked off towards my sister's house.' He was arrested after dialling 999 to admit that he had stolen the bomb. Earlier, in his panic, he dropped the holdall three times as he walked from the station to his sister Jeanette King's home.

Police have issued pictures of two men who may have shared a train compartment with terrorists carrying the explosives. One was aged about 42 with brown, greying hair and wore brown-rimmed spectacles, a brown leather jacket, blue jeans and white canvas trainers.

The other was about 30, 6ft 2ins tall and thin, with shoulder-length mousy-coloured hair. 'Police are keen to speak to them as they may have further information about the holdall,' Scotland Yard said, making it clear they were not suspects.

Officers were disappointed with the response to appeals for witnesses. Only a handful of the 260 passengers on the train had come forward. Mr Baker, who boarded the train at Oxford at 11.24am, took the holdall before getting off at Reading half an hour later.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - OTE £40,000

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Contracts / Sales Administrator

£19500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Knowledge of and ability to use...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Engineer - Powered Access

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They pride themselves that they...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence