A former Luton children’s home worker has been jailed for a sex attack he committed on a teenage boy more than 35 years ago.
In the early 1980s Paul Baker– who is now 56, of Grosvenor Road, Barton Seagrave, Northants– was a care worker at The Brambles Children’s Home which operated on Buckle Close, Luton, until 2008.
While there Baker developed a relationship with a 13-year-old boy who had been moved to the home after being caught shoplifting.
After a year at The Brambles the teenager moved back in with his family in Luton, but on one afternoon was approached by Baker while he was outside playing football.
Baker told the boy that he had just bought a new car and invited him out for a ride.
The teenager agreed but after a short journey Baker suggested that they should get out and go for a walk.
After the pair had later sat down Baker pulled the boy’s tracksuit bottoms and pants off, then removed his own clothing.
Baker then performed two sex acts on the boy, before grabbing the boy’s hand to make him perform a sex act.
Following the attack Baker told the teenager not to tell anyone what had happened.
At an earlier trial this year Baker denied three charges of indecent assault and claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.
He was found guilty by a jury and at Luton Crown Court on Friday was sentenced to four years in jail.
During the sentencing Judge Phillip Bartle QC read out extracts from a victim statement, which detailed the severe psychological impact the attack had on the teenager.
Judge Bartle said: “This incident has had a profound effect on him.
“He said that after it happened he wanted to get into bed and forget everything.
“This 14-year-old boy told nobody what happened at all until about 15 years later when he told his wife.
“At trial there was evidence he had seen doctors and psychiatrists because of the effect of what had happened to him.”
Judge Bartle added that the victim also suffered a mental health breakdown later in life.
In mitigation, defence barrister Siobhan Molloy conceded that the attack was ‘planned’ but said that the three offences occurred over a “relatively short period of time.”
She said: “It is not the type of case where offences take place over three days.”
Ms Molloy added that if Baker was given a custodial sentence he would lose his job as a noise abatement officer at Kettering Borough Council, leaving his wife in difficulty with mortgage payments.
Nonetheless Judge Bartle QC handed down a four year sentence and a three year sentence, which will run concurrently.
After serving half of the sentence Baker will be released on licence.
He will also have to sign the sex offenders list for five years.