Burglar found guilty of raping Stratford pensioner


- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A convicted burglar was found guilty today of raping a pensioner in her bedroom 16 years ago.

Wendell Baker, 56, was previously found not guilty of attacking 66-year-old Hazel Backwell but his case was re-tried under the double jeopardy law after a “one in a billion” DNA match was found.

The double jeopardy law which allows a person cleared of a serious offence to face retrial in certain circumstances.

Jurors at the Old Bailey unanimously found him guilty after deliberating for just over an hour.

Adjourning sentencing to Friday, Judge Peter Rook told Baker: “This is the most serious of cases and it is my duty to consider if a life sentence is appropriate in your case.”

The court heard Ms Backwell, who died in 2002, suffered a “terrifying ordeal” when Baker broke into her home in Litchfield Avenue, Stratford, as she slept in January 1997.

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

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