The husband and wife at the centre of the so-called ‘House of Horrors’ sexual abuse case have been jailed.
Keith and Caroline Baker imprisoned and sexually abused a disabled woman for eight years at their Craigavon home.
The woman was kept in appalling conditions in a bedroom which didn’t have a handle on the inside, had no light bulb, was cold and had no furniture bar a broken wardrobe.
The only toilet she had access to was overflowing with human waste when she was rescued by police in 2012. She only had a single tooth left.
At Craigavon Crown Court today (Tuesday), Keith Baker, 61, was sentenced to 15 years in jail and a further five years on licence.
His wife Caroline, 56, received a three-year sentence of which 18 months will be served in jail and the remainder on licence.
In October last year the husband and wife pleaded guilty to what prosecuting QC Toby Hedworth described as “a catalogue of grave sexual abusive behaviour towards a woman with severe learning disabilities who was kept at the defendants’ home for a number of years for their, and in particular Keith Baker’s, sexual gratification.”
Keith Baker pleaded guilty to 11 charges and his wife seven.
The Bakers, formerly from Drumellen Mews in Craigavon, 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.
Keith Baker admitted a further six counts of rape of the same woman and a final count of indecently assaulting the woman while Caroline Baker pleaded guilty to three offences of aiding and abetting her husband to rape their victim and a single count of indecent assault with all of the offences occurring on various dates between 15 March 2004 and 20 December 2012.
The offences came to light when another woman, known only as Miss X and said to be “somewhere between a victim and defendant,” alerted the authorities that a woman was being held hostage at the Bakers’ home.
Mr Hedworth outlined how both Caroline Baker and Miss X had given birth to four children to Keith Baker and that in the two semi detached houses, “men lived in one half and the women in the other.”
He said when she was rescued the victim, who had been reported missing by her husband in 2004, had only one sound tooth, was “severely emaciated” and had been kept in a bedroom which didn’t have a handle on the inside, had no light bulb, was cold and had no furniture bar a broken wardrobe.
Mr Hedworth said there was an adjoining bathroom with a toilet which he told the court, was “overflowing with excrement.”