PSNI’s disgust at sexual abuse of vulnerable woman

Victim, now 53, was held prisoner in Co Armagh house for eight years

A senior police officer stated yesterday that he struggled to think of "more depraved, more evil activity" after a Co Armagh-based couple were jailed for subjecting a vulnerable woman to a catalogue of sexual abuse over eight years.

At Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday, Keith Baker (61) was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison for a range of sexual offences against a now 53-year-old woman that he held prisoner from 2004 to 2012 at his home in Drumellen Mews in Craigavon.

His 54-year-old wife Caroline, whom he met when they were both in the Salvation Army in Britain, was sentenced to 18 months in prison with a further 18 months to be served out of prison on licence.

The abuse only came to light in late 2012 when a woman known as Miss X alerted the authorities.


Miss X told the BBC that she too was raped by Keith Baker over a period of 13 years. She said she was unaware that the woman was also being raped by Baker.

She described the cold, locked room where the victim was held as “like a little prison”.

Learning difficulties

The court also heard how the victim's husband, who also suffers severe learning difficulties, reported his wife's disappearance to Suffolk police in England in 2004, but that it wasn't until December 2012 that she was rescued from the Bakers.

In a statement, Suffolk police said they investigated the matter in 2004 and took a call from a woman they believed to be the man’s wife. She said she was not missing, but on holidays with a friend. This information was conveyed to the woman’s husband.

Det Chief Supt George Clarke said the first that the PSNI learned of the abuse was in December 2012.

Det Chief Supt Clarke said the woman who was “emaciated” and just six stone in weight when released was now “much physically better”.

“In all my years as a police officer I struggle to think of more depraved and cruel behaviour meted out by one human being to another,” he said. “Her basic human rights were stolen from her by people who can only be described as evil,” he added.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times