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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 13:33 GMT
Anger as rapist wins 5,000 aid
Richard Baker
Richard Baker led a double life
A serial rapist from Cornwall has been awarded 5,000 in legal aid to find out what made him commit his crimes.

Richard Baker, 40, from Bodmin, was given a life sentence in 1999 for committing a series of sex attacks.

Now he has issued a writ demanding the Home Office hand over reports and video tapes of psychiatric tests.

The Legal Services Commission said aid was given under 1998 data protection rules, but a policeman who investigated Baker's crimes said he was "appalled".

The fact that he should be given public funds to pursue this inquiry of his is disgraceful
Former Det Supt David Bright

Former Det Supt David Bright said: "It's beyond belief really.

"He was described by the trial judge as a danger to women for the foreseeable future.

"The fact that he should be given public funds to pursue this inquiry of his is disgraceful."

Baker lived a double life working in Spain as a DJ and jetting back to Britain to attack women in the south east of England.

In 1999 at the Old Bailey, he admitted four counts of indecent assault and was found guilty of four charges of rape, two of indecent assault and one of attempted indecent assault.

Baker's High Court writ claims lifers need access to risk assessment papers to be able to "challenge them effectively".

The Legal Services Commission said in a statement: "We cannot differentiate between applicants on the grounds that a decision to give legal aid may be unpopular in a particular case.

"We have a statutory responsibility to provide funding if a case meets a financial eligibility test and a legal merits test".

DJ guilty of rapes
20 May 99 |  UK

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