Nearly a decade in jail for “career criminal” after £200k worth of damage at HMP Bedford

Anthony Spalding
Anthony Spalding

A “career criminal” who caused substantial damage at Bedford Prison and assaulted a prison offer has been jailed for almost 10 years.

Anthony Spalding, 31, of no fixed abode, caused over £200,000 worth of damage to a wing at HMP Bedford while he was on remand for a separate offence in October 2018.

At Luton Crown Court on Friday (17 July), he pleaded guilty to the criminal damage to the prison and assaulting prison staff, as well as three counts of robbery and one count of burglary over separate incidents in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Luton last year.

Spalding’s sentence totals nine years and six months:

  • Five years for criminal damage to the prison
  • 18 months for assaulting a prison officer, to be served consecutively
  • Three years for burglary, to be served consecutively
  • Two years and five months for two of the robberies, to be served concurrently
  • Two years and three months for the other robbery, to be served concurrently

Detective Inspector Ian Holden, of the force’s Criminal Investigation Team, which investigated the prison offences, said, “We are delighted that Spalding has received a lengthy sentence for the criminal damage and assault.

“He caused significant damage to the prison, displayed extremely violent and reckless behaviour, and caused a person to be injured. We will not tolerate this in Bedfordshire.”

Detective Constable Jason Wheeler, from Bedfordshire Police’s specialist Operation Maze burglary team, added, “Spalding is regarded as a prolific offender, he’s a career criminal, and I am glad he will now spend a significant time in jail reflecting on his actions.

“The victims who were just carrying out their work at the time of these offences were left very shaken up and I hope this is some justice for them.

“We are committed to tackling robberies and burglaries in Bedfordshire, and our dedicated team works tirelessly to crack down on these offenders and put them behind bars.”

If you have been affected by crime, the Signpost Hub offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred. Contact 0800 0282887 or visit for further information

To read more about keeping your business and property secure, visit Bedfordshire Police’s website.

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.