Man jailed for 1997 rape

A 56-year-old man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the 1997 rape of a pensioner in her bedroom - a crime he was previously cleared of.

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Second trial results in life sentence

A man has been jailed for life for raping a pensioner in her home 16 years ago.

Wendell Baker was originally found not guilty of attacking Hazel Backwell in East London in 1997, but he went on trial again after the law on 'double jeopardy' changed.

From the Old Bailey, Robyn Dwyer reports.

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Man sentenced to life for 1997 rape of pensioner

A 56-year-old man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of the 1997 rape of a pensioner in her bedroom - a crime he was previously cleared of.

Wendell Baker was found guilty of raping a pensioner in 1997. Credit: Met Police

Wendell Baker was found not guilty of attacking 66-year-old Hazel Backwell but went on trial again after a DNA match was found "in the order of one in a billion".

Baker refused to come out of the cells to attend the sentencing where Judge Peter Rook said he would serve a minimum of 10 years and six months before being considered for parole.

Ms Backwell, who died in 2002, suffered a "terrifying ordeal" when Baker broke into her home in Stratford, east London, as she slept in January 1997.

Baker beat and raped the pensioner before ransacking her home and leaving her trapped in a cupboard.

She was found by a neighbour the next evening but was left terrified by the incident and "died with a very sad and broken heart", her family said.

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