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Playing to the Gallery: The Sarah Jane Baker Verdict
Sarah Jane Baker has been cleared of inciting violence against women.
Sarah Jane (formerly Alan) Baker is a trans-identified male with a violent criminal past. As a young man he spent time inside for crimes such as drug dealing and armed robbery. He then served 30 years for the kidnap and torture of his stepmother’s brother and the attempted murder of a fellow prisoner whom he tried to strangle after breaking into his cell.
While incarcerated, Baker developed a trans identity. He claims that, in 2017, he cut off his own testicles with a razor and had to be rushed to hospital. However, this story is directly contradicted by a Daily Mail article published in 2013. Four years prior to Baker’s alleged self-mutilation, it was reported that Baker had already undergone an orchiotomy; the Mail’s article says that Baker had received ‘a free sex change on the NHS’ at a cost of £10,000. An odd story to concoct if it’s untrue… unless one is trying to create a certain persona.
Baker was released in 2019 and, since then, has been a vociferous trans activist and has even expressed a desire to become an MP.
In July 2021, Baker paraded topless through Whitehall ahead of the Reclaim Pride in London March, screaming “Trans Rights are human rights”.
A month later, at the 2021 London Trans Pride rally, he was photographed holding placards, one of which demonstrates his support for the sexual exploitation of women and another which reads ‘BE TRANS DO CRIME’. There was speculation on social media that, given the huge similarity between the red spray-painted signs, he was also responsible for a placard threatening the life of JK Rowling.
Earlier this year UCL Women’s Liberation SIG and WPUK hosted a feminist conference called ‘Education for Women’s Liberation’. Speakers included Joanna Cherry KC, Julie Bindel, Helen Joyce and Akua Reindorf, among other leading feminist writers and academics.
Baker was one of the trans activists who descended on University College London to protest this feminist conference. He was recorded yelling abuse at the women attending, calling them ‘c*nts’.
On Saturday 8th July he spoke at London’s Trans Pride rally and made a speech which openly incited violence against women. “I was gonna come here and be really fluffy and be really nice and say yeah be really lovely and queer and gay. Nah. If you see a terf, punch them in the fucking face.” Metropolitan police officers were in attendance but did not take any action.
Despite numerous complaints, the Met continued not to take any action. According to a post on Mumsnet, a user of the site reported the incident to the Met and received a swift reply stating that the matter would not be taken any further. The response referred to Baker as a ‘female’ and seemed to suggest that his inciting violence against women was acceptable because those women were ‘TERFS’.
However, The Daily Mail later reported a statement from the Met Police: “We are aware of a video filmed in Westminster on Saturday, 8 July showing a speaker making remarks during the Trans Pride event… The case was initially closed with no further action. This has been reviewed and the crime report has been re-opened. Enquiries remain ongoing.”
Eventually, amid a public outcry and following an intervention by Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, Baker was arrested and charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment alarm and distress. The charge was later altered to the more serious offence of intentionally encouraging the commission of an offence, namely assault by beating.
Following Baker’s arrest, the man he’d kidnapped and tortured spoke out for the very first time about the nightmare to which Baker had subjected him.
Darren Sheridan, whose sister was Baker’s stepmother, was nineteen years old when Baker and his brother kidnapped him and bundled him into the back of a van at knifepoint. He was then subjected to a terrifying a 24-hour ordeal which left him physically and emotionally scarred.
He was taken to a London squat where he was beaten and tortured. He was burned with lit cigarettes which were stubbed out on his neck. He was forced to perform oral sex on the two men at knife point. Baker and his brother threatened to kill Darren, to scar his face with a razor and to give him a ‘smiley face’ ie an injury which involves slashing the sides of the mouth with a blade. They tied his outstretched legs to a chair and stamped on them. Eventually, Darren was bound with wire and dumped in a cupboard. He had been trussed in such a way that, if he attempted to move, the wire tightened around his neck. “I was helpless and I blacked out”, he said.
Darren’s life was saved when another person in the squat alerted the police. He was rushed to hospital where he was later told that he had been very close to death. Darren had 39 identifiable injuries, including some inflicted by a knife. At Baker’s trial, the judge described his actions as “An exercise in sadism and cruelty”.
Rather than distance their movement from this violent convicted torturer and would-be murderer now inciting violence against women, trans rights activists treated Baker like some sort of divine martyr.
Immediately after the pride rally, a recording of Baker’s speech, initially shared by Dazed, was reposted to the London Trans Pride official Instagram account.
His words were then defended by the London Trans Pride organisers. As reported by The Telegraph, a London Trans Pride spokesperson made a statement: “Sarah and many others in our community hold a lot of rage and anger and they have the right to express that anger through their words. We do not condone violence, we do not back a call to arms for violence of any kind. We do condone righteous anger and the right to the free speech that was expressed yesterday.”
Following Baker’s arrest, trans activists constantly expressed their support for him and protested his incarceration. A ‘Free Sarah Jane’ banner was even paraded at Manchester’s Pride rally.
This week, appearing at the City of London Magistrates Court, Baker was found not guilty of encouraging the commission of an offence. Heather Binning of the Women's Rights Network was in court and spoke to Graham about what happened.
In court, Baker claimed that, even though he had instructed a large crowd of trans activists to ‘punch terfs’, his intention was not serious. He said he was merely courting publicity and had hoped to grab a front page headline.
Prosecutor Kabir Sondhi accused Baker of ‘playing to the gallery’ from the witness box after he repeatedly drew laughter from his supporters. Heather Binning made the same point and also said that Baker had made a number of unsubstantiated allegations about ‘terfs’. The Standard reported that Baker gave “A series of speeches about the trans community”, making hyperbolic claims about there being a ‘trans genocide’ and ‘dark forces’ within the government.
Baker joked with the court that he made his incendiary comment because he is an idiot. “I was just being funny”, he said.
It has since come to light that Judge Tan Ikram, who allowed this dangerous man to pass of the threat of violence against women as nothing more than a joke, is a ‘Diversity specialist’ and a contributor to the 'Equal Treatment Courts Benchbook'.