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Longer sentence sought for abusive couple

Press Association logoPress Association 5/04/2017 Michael McHugh

Prosecutors are considering appealing against the sentences of a couple convicted of sexually abusing a mentally disabled woman while holding her captive for eight years.

Keith Baker was jailed for 15 years for keeping the victim as a sex slave in a room with no light bulb, carpets or curtains at his filthy house in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

His wife Caroline, 54, was imprisoned for three but will be released after 18 months.

"The Public Prosecution Service is currently considering if there is a basis to refer the sentences handed down in this case to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that they may be unduly lenient," a Public Prosecution Service (PPS) spokesman said:

"An unduly lenient sentence is one that falls outside the range of sentence that a judge, taking into consideration all relevant factors and having regard to sentencing guidance, could reasonably consider appropriate."

Baker, 61, filmed many of his attacks for his own sexual gratification and also held sway over his wife and another partner through his willingness to resort to violence and total immorality, a judge said at Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday.

The door of the room in which the victim was imprisoned had no handle on the inside and the toilet was overflowing with human excrement.

She was so badly emaciated she had only one tooth left once she was rescued by police in 2012 after Baker's second partner raised the alarm.

Keith and Caroline Baker were filmed sexually assaulting their victim.

The woman's learning difficulties were so severe her IQ placed her in the lowest 0.3% of the population.

She did not appear on the electoral register, was not with a GP or dentist and never claimed benefits.

Neighbours did not even know the woman, completely isolated from the rest of society, was there.

Mr Baker had been raised in Guernsey and lived most of his life in Kent. He met his wife when they both worked for the Salvation Army, which helps the most vulnerable in society.

A spokeswoman for the Salvation Army said: "Our records do not reflect the Bakers in employment within our organisation, which may suggest that they met through a voluntary informal association.

"We abhor their crimes."

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