Northern Ireland

Caroline Baker: Face of woman jailed in sex-slave case

Caroline Baker Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Caroline Baker's photograph was the subject of reporting restrictions

A judge has lifted a ban on the media showing photographs of a woman convicted in a sex-slave case in County Armagh.

On Tuesday, Caroline Baker was given a three-year sentence for her part in subjecting a disabled woman to horrific sexual assaults.

Her husband, Keith Baker, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with another five years on licence

Reporting restrictions meant the media could not publish any pictures of her.

But on Thursday a judge lifted those restrictions.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police found videos of Caroline Baker (above) and her husband abusing the disabled woman
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Keith Baker raped the woman repeatedly in his home and filmed his assaults

Keith and Caroline Baker kept their victim in a squalid room without carpet, a light bulb, bedclothes or curtains, for eight years.

The woman, who had severe learning difficulties, was emaciated and had only a single tooth left in her mouth when she was rescued from the house in Craigavon, County Armagh, in 2012.

She weighed just six stone (38kg) when she was found.

Keith Baker was sentenced to 15 years in jail and a further five years on licence after his release, Judge Patrick Lynch QC described the 61-year-old as a "Svengali-type figure" whose wife was a "pawn doing his bidding".

Caroline Baker will spend 18 months in jail, with the remainder on licence.

The couple last month pleaded guilty to a catalogue of charges, including sexual activity involving penetration and causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity.

Keith Baker, who was raised in Guernsey and lived most of his life in Kent, was also charged with rape and indecent assault.

Image caption Caroline Baker will spend 18 months in jail, with the remainder on licence

"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," said the judge.

Their Drumellan Mews home had been described in court as a "house of horrors".

The only toilet she had access to was overflowing with human waste.

The couple had taken the woman from her home in England in 2004; she was reported missing by her husband.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Keith Baker was a 'Svengali-type figure' who controlled his wife, said the judge

She was found by police in Northern Ireland eight years later after another woman, Mandy Highfield, contacted officers.

Ms Highfield had also lived with Keith Baker and was the mother of four of his children.

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Media captionMandy Highfield describes what life was like inside the Craigavon house

When detectives searched the house they found videos of the Bakers abusing their victim.

The images showed how she had deteriorated from being relatively healthy to malnourished over the years she was held inside the house.

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