Sentence cut for prisoner jailed for raping Stratford pensioner

16:53 21 January 2014

Wendell Baker

Wendell Baker


A man who was jailed for life after raping a Stratford pensioner in her bedroom in 1997 has a won an appeal for a two-year reduction in his minimum term.

Wendall Baker, 56, was sentenced to a minimum of 10 years and six months at the Old Bailey last year but judges at the Court of Appeal decided today that he will be allowed to apply for parole two years earlier.

Baker was jailed in June after going on trial for the second time under the double jeopardy law following the discovery of a ‘one in a billion’ DNA match.

Baker’s victim, 66-year-old Hazel Backwell, was asleep when he broke into her home in Litchfield Avenue, Stratford, in January 1997.

He tied her hands behind her back with a flex, beat and raped her, then ransacked her house before leaving her bound and trapped in a cupboard.

Ms Backwell was found by chance by neighbour George Walpole the next evening, terrified and thinking she was going to die.

The attack left her too afraid to continue living alone or go out by herself and she died in 2002.

During Baker’s trial, Judge Rook said: “It seems to me it’s difficult to find a case of more serious rape during the course of a burglary, short of where the victim is either killed or caused very serious harm.”

Baker, from Walthamstow, was originally arrested on suspicion of rape in 1998 and later charged but was acquitted.

Latest News Stories

Glasshouse Gardens topping out ceremony

A year and a half on from when construction work began, the tallest block in Glasshouse Gardens has reached its peak.

Elizabeth Olympic
Year 6 pupils in Newham are the fattest in London      Photo: Chris Radburn/PA

Nearly half of all children leaving primary school in the borough are overweight or obese, newly released figures show – the highest proportion in the capital.

Newham Council
The Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and the Young Mayor of Newham Alex Jarrett donate to the Christmas Toy Appeal

The Christmas Toy Appeal received a boost this week when not just one mayor but two handed over a selection of gifts.

Community Links
Yesterday, 16:00
Papa John's in East Ham is holding a pizza party in aid of Text Santa (file picture: Steve Parsons/PA)

Do you like pizza? Do you like supporting charity appeals?


Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder