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Cold case murder suspect from Dover arrested for murder of Wayne Baker from St George’s Place, Hythe

By Sean Axtell

A cold case investigation into the 2007 death of a man who died following a fire has led to an arrest on suspicion of murder.

Wayne Baker, also known as Wayne Sharpe, was rescued by firefighters from a burning property in St George’s Place, Hythe on the afternoon of November 11.

He died a month later in hospital aged 27.

Fire ravaged home in St George's Place in 2007
Fire ravaged home in St George's Place in 2007

Officers arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of murder in a dawn raid at an address in Dover this morning.

Detective Sergeant Andrea Richards of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "We are continuing to carry out enquiries into this investigation and would like to hear from anyone with information about how the fire that killed Mr Baker was started and who may be responsible.

"We believe there must be someone out there who knows what happened, who perhaps did not feel they could say something at the time.

"If that is the case then I would strongly encourage them to come forward now and help provide Mr Baker’s family with some answers."

The suspect remains in custody.

The fire was originally treated as unexplained in 2007 and an open verdict was recorded following an inquest into Mr Baker’s death.

The blaze took hold of the home at 2.30pm on Sunday and firemen rescued the unconscious victim from inside.

Two fire crews from Hythe, one from Folkestone and another from Dymchurch attended the blaze, as well as an incident control team from Canterbury.

Three neighbours made brave attempts at a rescue but were beaten back by the ferocity of the blaze.

Mr Baker was taken to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and was subsequently transferred to Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

Speaking at the time of the incident, Folkestone firefighter Andy Batchelor said: "It was a very severe fire."

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