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Friday, 22 November, 2002, 15:56 GMT
Judge's plea for paedophile's family
The scales of justice
A judge has taken the unusual step of appealing for vigilantes terrorising the family of a paedophile he jailed for 14 years to leave them alone.

Judge Christopher Leigh QC described the attacks on the family's home as "reprehensible."

Thugs have been throwing mud and eggs at the door of Anthony Baker's former address in Southampton, Hampshire.

The attacks have come even though the family has never supported the 43-year-old, who carried out a catalogue of abuse against two young girls.

Rape and assault

The young son of the family, who live in Bassett, has also had paint thrown over him and his shoes removed and thrown away.

At the end of a nine-day trial in October, Baker was sentenced to 14 years in prison for 26 charges of rape, indecent assault and indecency.

After the vigilante actions came to the judge's attention, he brought police officers in the case back to Southampton Crown Court to listen to a prepared statement.

In it he said: "On 16 October 2002, I sentenced a man called Anthony Baker to 14 years imprisonment for a series of rapes and indecent assaults against two victims.

"It has since come to my notice that the family of Mr Baker has been subjected to harassment and assault.

"Harassment of this sort is unlawful and the police are investigating this matter.

"But it is particularly reprehensible in this case as Mrs Baker and her family have at no time, or in any way, been supportive of Mr Baker."

Detective Constable Colin Pinkney, of Southampton police, said: "The police are actively seeking those responsible for harming this family."


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