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Is 11/4 years enough for pervert? Lawyers and police to be asked for advice on appeal.

Byline: BY DEBORAH JAMES Daily Post Staff

LAWYERS and police officers are to be asked if they think a serial paedophile who preyed on children for more than 30 years should spend more than 11 k years in jail.

Merseyside man Thomas Michael Baker carried out shocking sex attacks on six little girls in the Whiston area from mid-1970s through to 2003.

He could have been locked up for more than 70 years, but the prison sentences he received will run concurrently.

This means he serves only 11 years six months and if granted parole, could be back on the streets within seven.

Yesterday the Crown

Prosecution Service confirmed it is considering whether to ask for a review of the sentence on grounds it was "unduly lenient".

Jane Roden, unit head of Merseyside CPS, said she was preparing to ask prosecution barristers and police officers involved in the case for their advice.

A call by the CPS to review the case will add pressure to Home Secretary John Reid to crack down on paedophile sentencings.

Last week, child kidnapper Craig Sweeney was jailed for life at Cardiff Crown Court but could serve just five years as he pleaded guilty

Baker, of Telford Drive, Sutton, St Helens, was charged with 26 offences, including attempted rapes and indecent assaults. A further 26 charges were laid on file.

Many of those offences heard by the jury were specimen charges' police believe he could have committed hundreds more crimes against children.

Campaigners yesterday criticised the sentence.

Rob Jones, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, added: "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 their dismay at the thought of his release in just a few years time." The mother of two of his victims, whom Baker was convicted of trying to rape when they were aged seven and nine, said: "He denied and denied doing anything wrong .

"He thought he could abuse our children and get away with it.

"I thought he would be locked away for life. These young girls have been so brave to come forward and this is the justice they receive. "

Baker must sign the sex offences register for life and also had to sign a lifetime Sexual Offences Prevention Order THE relatives of Baker's victims paid tribute to the Merseyside police officers involved in the case.

In a statement after the case, one mother said: "Three police officers have had to provide help to six victims and their families, as well as to Baker, who claimed to be innocent.

"They were there for us 24-hours day and have been unwavering in their suppor t.

"They are truly angels and we cannot thank them enough."

deborahjames @dailypost.co.uk

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2006
Words:473
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