Christopher Baker, aged 77, was convicted of abusing two girls when they were aged two and four years old. The abuse continued for over ten years. 

He was found guilty of abusing the young girls between 1986 and 2000.The trial judge sentenced him to two years imprisonment. However, the Crown appealed the sentence imposed on the basis that it was unduly lenient. 

The appeal was heard at the Sheriff Appeal Court in Edinburgh. The sentence was quashed and a four-year custodial sentence was imposed on Baker. 

The trial sheriff also placed him on notification requirements for a period of ten years. The sheriff stated: “They were terrified of you and of what might happen next. This was traumatic, life-changing and there’s possible lifelong consequences.”

In considering the sentence the appeal court concluded that in imposing the sentence the sheriff had ‘underestimated the seriousness’ of the offending behaviour. 

In considering the first girl the appeal court explained: “The respondent’s culpability was very high. His sexual abuse of the victim was planned and deliberate. He was a mature adult at the time he committed the offence. The extent of the harm caused to the victim was enormous. The offending against her was sustained and repeated.”