DJ `raped women in series of attacks' reign of terror'

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The Independent Online
A DISC jockey raped four women and attacked eight others between last May and December, the Old Bailey was told yesterday. Richard Baker, 34, left overwhelming scientific evidence at the rape scenes, said Nicholas Hilliard, for the prosecution.

The other victims were indecently assaulted, he said. One screamed and another escaped. In one attack the defendant was disturbed and the ordeal ended. In two incidents the attacker was fought off.

Baker, originally from Bodmin, Cornwall, but now of no fixed address, has denied committing four rapes in Brighton, Essex and north London. He also denies two indecent assaults, one attempted indecent assault and a charge of affray. Baker admitted four indecent assaults and one assault causing actual bodily harm.

Evidence from semen and saliva was found, Mr Hilliard said. "DNA profiles left by the attacker match the defendant. He admits he attacked the women, but it is disputed that they were raped." The jury would have to consider whether the women were lying or mistaken. "The alternative is that the defendant does not want to admit to the very grave offences of rape."

The attacker had sometimes threatened to kill his victim, put an arm round her neck - or tried to get sympathy by telling a sob story, said the prosecution. The first indecent assault he denied was on a 22-year- old woman walking home from Willesden Underground station, north London. She heard quickening footsteps and was grabbed round the neck by a tanned stranger. "He had spent some time in Spain working as a DJ, which may account for his tanned skin," Mr Hilliard said.

Baker put a hand over her mouth and allegedly said: "Shut up or I will kill you." At the end of the assault, the attacker began to sob, threatened to kill her, then said he was sorry "but at least I did not rape you".

Six days later another woman was indecently assaulted as she walked home from Highgate Tube station. Baker admitted that attack, said Mr Hilliard. He had told her he wanted to masturbate. She twisted free and escaped.

Four days after that, a 16-year-old schoolgirl was raped as she went to meet her mother at about midnight, Mr Hilliard said. She begged her attacker not to rape her, and he said he would not but was "just a dirty old man". But he did rape her, the court was told, then threatened to kill her if she told anyone. "He said he had seen her in school uniform and knew where she lived and her route home," the prosecution said.

Last September, Baker made three attacks within a few hours, two in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, a third in north London, Mr Hilliard said. They involved a girl of 16, a woman aged 18 and a woman of 26.

His final attack came on December 11 when a woman fought him off in north London. Baker was arrested later that month at Heathrow as he tried to catch an international flight.

The trial continues today.