| 6.1°C Dublin

I was six when dad started to abuse me

THE daughter of a man who was previously believed to have been a 'pillar of society' has spoken out about the years of horrific sexual abuse that she suffered at his hands.

Antoinette Baker, now in her late 30s, broke her silence after her dad Tony Baker died in Morocco - where he fled after she made a formal complaint to gardai in 2009.

Baker left his home in Co Wexford after the complaint was made, knowing that detectives wanted to question him about the horrific allegations.

Tony Baker regularly appeared in national media reports after the death of his Air Corps pilot son Michael, who was one of four men who died when their aircraft crashed during a rescue mission in Tramore, Co Waterford, in July 1999.

Baker embarked on a high profile crusade in which he called for senior army officers to be brought to account for the gross negligence which he says contributed to the death of his son and the other airmen.

But behind the high profile campaign, Baker was hiding a sickening secret.

This week, his daughter revealed that he started abusing her when she was just six.

Antoinette said: "It started when I was six and went on until I was 12. It wasn't until later on, when I was a teenager looking back, that I realised this wasn't right and it shouldn't have happened.

"Stupidly I didn't tell anyone but, who would have believed you then?

"People just wouldn't and they'd just say 'don't be silly, go home' and that'd be just the last place you'd want to go.

"My mother never drove and still doesn't and sure she'd cycle into town and that takes a while. It would have always happened in the house, or the shed as well."

It is understood that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Tony Baker, aged in his early 70s, in Agadir, he is believed to have died from a heart condition.