Man accused of raping Stratford pensioner claims police framed him


- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A convicted burglar whose DNA was found on a raped pensioner today said he had been framed by police motivated by “hate”.

Wendell Baker, 56, is accused of raping Hazel Backwell, 66, in her home in Stratford in January 1997.

She died in 2002 having never seen her attacker brought to justice.

Baker, who has three convictions for burglary, was cleared of the rape in 1999 after the judge decided the case could not proceed following legal argument.

But he is facing a second trial at the Old Bailey under the double jeopardy law which allows a person cleared of a serious offence to face retrial in certain circumstances.

Today, Baker, whose semen DNA matched samples taken from the victim with a probability “in the order of one in a billion” told his trial the police had hounded him for years.

He denied ever attacking the victim, who was dumped in a cupboard, and said he never knew her, her friends or family.

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Under cross-examination he told Rosina Cottage QC the police hated him and he hated them.

“The police have hounded me all my bloody life,” said Baker, of Walthamstow.

“I have told the police it has nothing to do with me and they are still hounding me,” he added.

The prosecutor asked why they hounded him and would frame him.

“Hate,” Baker replied.

“There’s a lot of history between me and the police, a hell of a lot of history.

“It wouldn’t be the first time nor the last time the police fitted me up.

“Numerous occasions.

“This is the worst one.”

Asked how officers could obtain his semen to frame him, he told Ms Cottage: “You really don’t want to know.

“They could have gone to somebody’s house and gone through the bins.

“Some officers frequented a house that I used to go to.”

He said he “didn’t know for sure” but police could have obtained one of his used condoms.

The trial continues Monday.