Ex-teacher jailed for porn offences

Ralph Baker

Ralph Baker

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A FORMER Eastbourne schoolteacher has been jailed for four years for child porn offences after being deported from the Dominican Republic.

Ralph Baker, who worked at Highfield School in the late 1970s and early 1980s, fled to the Caribbean after being arrested for breaching a sexual offences order.

His disappearance in 2004 was while he was on police bail for falling foul of requirements of the Sex Offenders Register, which he had been ordered to sign for 10 years in December 2000 after being convicted of making indecent images of children.

He breached the order by becoming involved with a junior football team and coaching its young players.

He fled to the Dominican Republic and while police attempted to bring him back to the UK, they discovered further offences of possessing indecent images of children on computer equipment at his home address.

Baker, who was living with two children at his address in the Dominican Republic, was arrested by the Dominican National Police for immigration offences in October last year and he was deported to the UK.

On arrival at Gatwick Airport, he was arrested by Surrey Police in relation to the outstanding UK offences.

Baker was also charged with 10 counts of making an indecent image of a child, four counts of possessing an indecent image of a child, two breaches of a SOPO, failing to notify police of intention of foreign travel as required to do so as a registered sex offender and obtaining a passport by deception.

Sixty-seven-year-old Baker was jailed at Guildford Crown Court last month and was also ordered to have an extended eight-year licence upon release.

He is also prevented from travelling abroad and is restricted from using the internet and having any contact with children under the age of 16.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Suckling from the Surrey Police risk management unit said, “This result demonstrates the lengths Surrey Police, in conjunction with national and international law enforcement agencies, will go to in ensuring individuals involved in the exploitation of children are brought to justice.

“Our perseverance in getting Baker sent back to the UK has not only ensured he has had to face up to his crimes but has also helped prevent any further offences being committed against the two children he was living with in the Dominican Republic.

“Baker has shown complete disregard for the law not only by continuing to make indecent images following a previous prosecution but by fleeing the country when he knew the net was closing in on him.

“It is a fact that is sometimes forgotten but every image downloaded and shared online represents a child that has been abused and Surrey Police is committed to identifying those responsible for such offences and bringing them before the courts.”

Baker, who lived in Redhill, Surrey, before he fled to the Dominican Republic, left Highfield School in the early 1980s and went to work in the finance department at East Sussex County Council.