DJ gets four life sentences for rapes

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RICHARD BAKER, one of Britain's most prolific serial rapists, wept in the Old Bailey yesterday as he was handed four life sentences for raping three women and attempting to rape one other.

The former disc jockey sobbed loudly after a judge told him he was "truly depraved and wicked". Baker was described as having little understanding of the devastation he had caused to his victims' lives, six of whom were in court for his sentencing.

Baker, 34, from Bodmin, Cornwall, must serve at least 12 years and five months before he is considered for parole.

Since his conviction more than a dozen other women have contacted the police to report that Baker sexually assaulted them.

A 16-year-old victim who was raped in north London said outside court that she thought Baker should never be allowed out of jail. She said: "He has wrecked my life - I have lost all my confidence. I do not want him to ever be back on the streets. I do not think it is safe for women if he were to be. I would rather he did not have the chance of getting parole." She said it had been hard for her to be in court and look at Baker in dock a few feet away. "But I had to do it for my own peace of mind. I am not going to forget what happened to me, but I needed to get this out of my way and try and get on with my life."

Another of Baker's victims said she had taken his tears with a pinch of salt. "He is very plausible - I doubt if they were real tears," said the 26-year-old married woman.

Baker had pleaded guilty to five offences and been found guilty of eight others by a jury. He sexually assaulted 12 women, one aged 15, in the south of England between May and December last year. He often struck from behind as his victims walked home alone at night, overpowering them and forcing them to submit to assaults or rape.

The judge, Recorder David Stokes QC, ordered that the sentences be served concurrently along with other sentences ranging from eight years to 12 months, for a series of attacks. He told Baker: "You treat women with complete contempt. You are not mentally ill, but you are in my opinion a truly depraved and wicked man who for the foreseeable future presents a formidable danger to women."

The judge said Baker was a "practised and forceful liar" and anything he had to say before parole was considered should be carefully examined.

He went on to praise Baker's brother Kevin, 36, for reporting his brother to the police after watching an appeal about the rapes on Crimewatch.