Our thanks to Bryn for this. A shocking case. Excerpts:
A husband and wife who subjected a disabled woman to horrific sexual assaults while holding her as a virtual prisoner have been jailed.
Keith, 61, and Caroline Baker, 56, kept their victim in a squalid room without carpet, a light bulb, bedclothes or curtains, for eight years.
Police rescued her from the house in Craigavon, County Armagh, in 2012.
The woman, who had severe learning difficulties, was emaciated and had only a single tooth left in her mouth…
Mr Baker, who was raised in Guernsey and lived most of his life in Kent, was sentenced to 15 years in jail and a further five years on licence after his release. [my emphasis]
His wife received a three-year sentence – 18 months of that term will be spent in jail, with the remainder on licence… [my emphasis]
During sentencing at Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday, Judge Patrick Lynch QC said Keith Baker was a “Svengali-type figure” who exercised great control over his wife, who was a “pawn doing his bidding”.
“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.
I cannot recall the ‘Svengali defence’ ever being used as a mitigating circumstance for a male criminal being influenced by a female criminal. Men must be held responsible and punished severely, while women must be excused and punished lightly, if at all.
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