A convicted rapist who viciously beat and raped a 63-year-old woman is set to be released by the Parole Board after serving just seven years in prison.
Wendell Baker, the Jamaican born rapist, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the attack on a retired secretary, Hazel Blackwell in her East London home.
In 1997, Baker beat and raped Mrs Blackwell, breaking her ribs in the process before locking her in a cupboard. She was only rescued by chance 15 hours later after a neighbour saw that her milk was still on her doorstep.
Mrs Backwell died five years later, never fully recovering from the attack. Her son said that she died “with a broken heart and a shadow of her former self”, according to The Telegraph.
Baker was initially acquitted for the heinous crime on a technicality, however, but was later retried and convicted after a change to the double jeopardy laws was made in 2005. The change to the law allowed the prosecutors to use DNA evidence that was blocked in the first trial.
In 2013, he was found guilty and was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of ten and a half years behind bars, but has been cleared for release after serving just seven.
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A report conducted at the time of the brutal attack said that Baker had a “tendency to resort to violence and the use of weapons, being violent to a partner, alcohol misuse and using illegal drugs, not being able to control extreme emotions, being influenced by anti-social friends….and not thinking about what will happen as a result of his actions.”
Yet a remote Parole Board hearing found that the convicted rapist is “suitable for release”.
“Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public after release and whether that risk is manageable in the community,” a Parole Board spokesman said.
“We do that with great care and public safety is our number one priority,” he added.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said of the case: “This was a despicable crime and our deepest sympathies remain with the victims’ family and friends.
“Like all life sentence prisoners released by the independent Parole Board, Wendell Baker will be on licence for the rest of his life and subject to strict conditions – and faces a return to prison if he fails to comply.”
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