Northern Ireland House of horrors: Basic human rights stolen by evil Keith and Caroline Baker, say police
Couple Keith and Caroline Baker jailed for holding disabled woman as sex slave for years
A husband and wife jailed for keeping a mentally disabled woman imprisoned as a sex slave for years were described as evil by police in what they said was an appalling litany of crimes that will horrify the public.
Last October twisted Keith (61) and Caroline (54) Baker from Craigavon pleaded guilty to the repeated rape and sexual abuse of their victim over eight years.
On Tuesday Keith Baker was sentenced to 20 years, 15 of which he must serve in jail. His wife was sentenced to three years with 18 months to be spent in jail.
Judge Patrick Lynch QC said: "It is not easy to understand how these individuals have so lost their moral compass that they could subject an individual who clearly exhibited serious mental defects to mistreatment, in sexual terms depriving her of any dignity and even the most basic of living standards."
He added: "Mr Baker presented as a Svengali figure, exercising control on three women based on his dominance, willingness to resort to violence and total immorality."
Police welcomed the sentencing.
Basic human rights stolen by evil people. Police
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke said: “This was an appalling litany of crimes carried out against an extremely vulnerable woman and we welcome today’s outcome.
“For eight years, these defendants kept this woman imprisoned in a room that could not be opened from inside and sexually abused her, some of which was filmed for their own sexual gratification. There was no door handle on the inside of her room and food was only brought to her occasionally.
“Put simply, this was an inhumane way to treat anyone. Her basic human rights were stolen from her by people who can only be described as evil. What she went through is unimaginable and any right minded person will be horrified to hear about the suffering this victim endured at the hands of these cruel people. It doesn’t bear thinking about what this victim endured over the thousands of days she was kept prisoner.
“Although it pales to insignificance in comparison to what this victim was forced to endure for years, this has been a difficult, challenging and emotional case for the officers involved. We worked closely with the Public Prosecution Service to build a strong case and I am glad we brought the case to a conclusion for the victim today.”
The gruesome pair kept their victim in squalid conditions, forcing her to use a toilet overflowing with human waste, and preventing her from leaving her tiny room by removing the door handle on the inside.
When she was rescued, she had only one sound tooth, and was "severely emaciated". She was kept in a bedroom with no light bulb, carpet, bedclothes or furniture. The room was cold as the radiator was never turned on, and had only a broken wardrobe for furniture.
Last year Keith Baker pleaded guilty to 11 charges and his wife Caroline to seven.
The Bakers confessed to the three charges they jointly faced, two of engaging in sexual activity with a mentally disabled person and one of inciting such a person to engage in sexual activity knowing that she had such a disorder and "knowing that because of it she was unlikely to refuse".
Keith Baker admitted a further six counts of rape of the same woman and a final count of indecently assaulting the woman. Caroline Baker pleaded guilty to three offences of "aiding and abetting, counselling and procuring" her husband to rape their victim and a single count of indecent assault, with all of the offences against the couple occurring on dates between March 15, 2004 and December 20, 2012.
The offences came to light when another woman, known only as Miss X, alerted the authorities that a woman was being held hostage at the Bakers' home.
The court heard that Mrs Baker and Miss X had given birth to four children to Keith Baker and that in the two adjoining semi-detached houses "men lived in one half and the women in the other".
Video recordings and still images showing the victim engaged in sexual activity with Mr Baker, his wife and the woman who alerted the authorities were found on computers, cameras and storage devices seized by police.
During police questioning Keith Baker initially claimed he had no idea what went on in that half of the house and that he had "rescued" his victim her from an "abusive relationship in England".
He told police they were in a "consensual" sexual relationship and that his victim was the instigator of any sexual trysts.
Caroline Baker also admitted sexual activity but, like her husband, claimed it had been consensual and that the victim had been the instigator. She also claimed she suffered from "battered wife syndrome", after being physically and emotionally abused by her husband for years.