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Indefinite prison term for iron bar attacker with violent past

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:30 12 August 2010

A VIOLENT and dangerous man has been jailed indefinitely for an attack with an iron bar which left his victim unconscious.

A "VIOLENT and dangerous" man has been jailed indefinitely for an attack with an iron bar which left his victim unconscious.

Robert Coker, 45, from Wellington Gardens, Charlton, was handed an indeterminate prison sentence for grievous bodily harm with intent, a number of burglaries and possession of drugs, by the judge at Croydon Crown Court on March 17.

His victim, who had earlier been drinking with Coker, was found unconscious and covered in blood by police in Cornish Grove, Penge, in the early hours of August 8, 2008.

He was treated in the major injury ward at Lewisham Hospital for fractures to his knees, legs and wrists.

Later the same day police officers arrested Coker at an address in Bredhurst Close, Penge.

They found him with items reported stolen in a series of burglaries, as well as possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

The break-ins occurred in Beckenham between July 25 and August 2, 2008.

During a two-day trial, Coker pleaded guilty to drug offences, but denied three counts of burglary and GBH with intent.

Coker must serve at least four years for GBH with intent, five years concurrent for each of the three burglary offences and three months concurrent for the drug offences.

Before committing the offences in 2008, Coker had just been released from a three-year jail term for burglary.

Coker has a history of violence, having been convicted of more than 80 offences since 1976. Detective Inspector Jane Corrigan, head of Bromley Police's Burglary Squad, said: "Coker is a violent, prolific residential burglar and clearly a dangerous man."

She added: "The indeterminate sentence handed down reflects the persistent nature and seriousness of his crimes and is the result of the steadfast perseverance of detectives in bringing this man to justice.

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