Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

House of horrors: Neighbours never suspected quiet couple who led a perverse secret life

By Cate McCurry

The Co Armagh property which hid an horrific secret for many years, remains in a dishevelled and neglected state.

Some five years have passed since the house of horrors was exposed and the crimes committed by Keith Baker (62) and his wife Caroline (56) came to light.

The front door of the property - where police uncovered the dark, sordid room where a vulnerable woman was imprisoned - was unlocked yesterday, while rubbish and an abandoned, rusty vehicle were strewn across the garden.

Despite the passage of time, neighbours who live in the adjoining houses remember vividly the moment when they discovered Baker was holding the 53-year-old woman a virtual prisoner.

"I lived next door for most of the years when that poor woman was being kept there," one neighbour said. "We had no idea what was going on, I didn't hear anything nor were there any signs for us to be concerned.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard what happened, it was disgusting. I was horrified that it had all happened under our noses. I'm glad he has been jailed for all those years."

The neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she never saw the victim in all those years.

She added: "I rarely spoke to Keith or Caroline. They seemed to get on like normal people, nothing really stood out to me."

The two properties where the Bakers lived were merged together by the Housing Executive.

There are currently occupants living in the property, although they are in no way connected to the Bakers or the case.

In a somewhat secluded part of the Craigavon estate, the house is surrounded by trees and greenery.

The view from the room where the woman was kept overlooks a field and a busy public path.

Locals who used this route would have been completely unaware of the sinister secret behind the closed doors.

Many of the property's windows are broken, while a warning sign that CCTV is in operation is stuck to a downstairs window.

Another neighbour, Donna Atkinson, said the Bakers were "quiet" and kept to themselves.

"I never spoke to them, they might have said hello a few times but that's it," she recalled.

"I thought he (Keith) was quite controlling of his wife but I never suspected what was happening. It was terrible to know what was going on just a few doors away, it's very sad to think she (his victim) was kept locked in that house for all those years and we didn't even know it."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph