House of horrors couple jailed for holding disabled woman as sex slave in Irish home
'Her basic human rights were stolen from her by people who can only be described as evil'
A couple who sexually abused a mentally-disordered woman held prisoner in their home for eight years have been sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison.
Keith and Caroline Baker raped and sexually abused their traumatised and emaciated victim, who had no way of escaping them.
Neighbours in Craigavon in Co Armagh in Northern Ireland did not know she was there.
She was so badly malnourished most of her teeth had to be removed once she was rescued by police in 2012.
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."
Baker was also living with a third woman, who eventually alerted police.
Keith Baker slumped in a wheelchair outside the dock at Craigavon Crown Court. His wife Caroline stood inside, with her head bowed.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and she was jailed for three years with 18 months' early release under licence.
Their victim was reported missing in England in 2004. She was taken to Northern Ireland by Mr Baker, the judge said.
The woman was kept in a filthy room at their Craigavon home, with no heat, light bulb or carpet. The door handle had been removed on the inside, meaning she was unable to escape.
The bathroom floor was covered in human waste and her mattress was badly stained.
The perpetrators filmed themselves attacking their naked and helpless victim.
The judge said: "She lacked the capacity to make decisions and was regarded as a mentally disordered person and did not have capacity to consent to sex."
Keith Baker (61) whose address was given as prison, and Caroline Baker (54) pleaded guilty to sexual activity involving penetration and causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity.
Keith Baker was also charged with rape and indecent assault. Caroline Baker was charged with aiding and abetting rape and other sexual offences including indecent assault.
A total of eight children also lived in the house, along with another lady who was another partner to Keith Baker.
The judge said the household was "highly unorthodox" and the victim was totally isolated from the rest of society.
Her words when she was released from captivity were: "Yes, freedom."
She did not appear on the electoral register, was not with a GP or dentist and never claimed benefits.
Her abusers took material showing Baker having sex with his partner and the victim, almost every time naked, the judge said.
At one stage she was told she had "learned quite a bit" over the last few years.
She went from being well-nourished to becoming emaciated, extremely thin with a distended abdomen.
The judge commented: "She did not even know the name of the perpetrator."
When she was released she did not want to be left alone in the room.
Judge Lynch added: "This is clearly indicative to me of the isolated existence she had led."
She ate everything in a hurry and was dehydrated.
In January 2013 Keith Baker was arrested and claimed he had rescued the victim from an abusive relationship.
He was raised in Guernsey and lived most of his life in Kent. He met his wife when they both worked for the Salvation Army.
He was assessed as displaying sexual deviancy and posing a high risk of re-offending.
Caroline Baker played a "secondary" role, the judge said, influenced by her husband's domineering personality.
"Caroline Baker was in a virtual state of marital captivity."
He said she was a pawn under the influence of a very powerful and dominating Mr Baker and also a victim of exploitation and emotional control by her husband.
When questioned she claimed the woman was the "most sensible person I know" and claimed the sexual activity was initiated by her.
Addressing Mrs Baker, the judge said: "I still find it hard to understand how you could have so little empathy for your victim.
"You connived in treatment of your victim that reduced her to a state of emaciation, no medical treatment or dental treatment.
"Her living conditions were a disgrace. She was under-fed.
"None of this was necessary."
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's public protection branch, said it was an appalling litany of crimes carried out against an extremely vulnerable woman.
"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."