June 2006

Paedophile’s sentence attacked

Campaigners have criticised a prison sentence passed on a serial paedophile who preyed on young girls for more than 30 years.

Thomas Baker, 53, Telford Drive, Sutton, was sentenced to 11 years and six months for a series of sex attacks against six girls – some as young as five.

He carried out his crimes, which included attempted rapes, indecent assaults and gross indecency, from the mid-1970s until 2003.

Baker was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court last week after he was found guilty of 26 sexual offences. If granted parole, he could be released within seven years.

Today campaigners called for a review of the way paedophiles were sentenced.

Rob Jones, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said: “One of the difficulties with cases such as this is that children only get one chance of childhood and that is not taken into account in sentencing.

“The victims of Baker will serve a life sentence so it is not unreasonable for them to expect that he will too.

“I can understand they must be dismayed at the thought of his release in just a few years time.

“We do have concerns about some of these judgements and the way the sentences are arrived at in what appears to the public to be a rather ad hoc process.”

The mother of two of Baker’s victims said the paedophile should have been jailed for life.

She said: “I thought he would be locked away for life.

“These young girls have been so brave to come forward and stop Baker and this is the justice they receive.”

Baker, from Telford Drive in Sutton, St Helens was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

A further 26 charges for sexual offences have been laid on file.

Detective Constable Dave Stubbs, of Merseyside Police, said: “His offences spanned a lifetime and destroyed not only the lives of the victims but of their families, too.

“They have had to re-live their experiences, but their determination and the professionalism of the officers involved has helped to find justice for them.

“I hope that the sentence handed down will help bring an end to their suffering so that they may continue to rebuild their lives.”