House where alleged sex abuse took place attacked

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The “house of horrors” where a woman was allegedly subjected to rape and sexual abuse by a husband and wife has been attacked six times, a judge heard yesterday.

The husband and wife accused of subjecting the woman to years of abuse, Keith and Caroline Baker, appeared in the dock at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court where they were committed to the Crown Court for trial on the litany of sex offences.

Mr Baker, who remained seated in a wheelchair for the short hearing, faces a total of 16 offences including six counts of rape and single offences of indecent assault, false imprisonment, false imprisonment to commit sex offences, sexual activity, sexual activity with a person suffering from a mental disability and inciting a person with a mental disability to engage in sexual activity, all alleged to have occurred on dates between May 1, 2004, and December 20, 2012.

His 51-year-old wife Caroline faces a total of nine offences allegedly committed against the woman with mental disabilities, all alleged to have occurred between the same dates.

It has been alleged in previous court hearings that Baker held the woman in squalid conditions and along with his wife, repeatedly sexually abused her.

The court also heard how in the police view, Mr Baker had exerted “manipulation and control” over the alleged victim who had suffered years of “domestic and sexual abuse” at his hands.

During searches of their home at Drumellen Mews in Craigavon, laptop computers, cameras, recording equipment and mobile phones were seized by police with video footage allegedly showing sex acts.

It has also been claimed that the alleged victim, a malnourished English woman with severe learning disabilities, had been raped repeatedly and imprisoned for nearly a decade at the specially-adapted house where the Bakers lived.

The Bakers claim that any sexual acts were consensual.

Committing them to Craigavon Crown Court for trial, Judge Bates released Mrs Baker on continuing bail and remanded Mr Baker back into custody to appear there on August 7.

During an application to vary Mrs Baker’s bail, he heard that in the last three months, they home where the couple are alleged to have abused the women has been attacked six times with youths breaking windows, throwing stones and daubing graffiti on the walls declaring “house of horrors, get the scum out of here.”