A trans activist who served 30 years in jail for kidnap and attempted murder has been cleared of breaking the law by telling a crowd at a rally to “punch a Terf” – as he is recalled to prison anyway for breaching his licence conditions. The Mail has the story.
Sarah Jane Baker, 54, of Richmond-upon-Thames, southwest London, will now be held at men’s prison HMP Wandsworth until a parole hearing, which may not take place until March.
It comes after [he] was yesterday cleared of encouraging assault while at the London Trans+ Pride march from Trafalgar Square to Wellington Arch in London on July 8th.
A recording played of the march shows the activist shouting into microphone: “I was gonna come here and be really fluffy and be really nice and say be really lovely and queer and gay, nah if you see a Terf, punch them in the f**king face.”
Trans campaigners use the acronym Terf as a derogatory term for people who do not align with their own views. It stands for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’.
Baker was first jailed in 1989, aged 19, for kidnapping and torturing [his] stepmother’s 19-year-old brother.
[He] was later given a life sentence for the attempted murder of a fellow inmate while in prison – of which [he] served 30 years before [his] release in 2019, making [him] the U.K.’s longest-serving trans prisoner.
After appearing at the central London rally last month, Baker was reported to police and arrested at [his] home and taken to Charing Cross Police Station on July 12th.
The defendant denied intentionally encouraging the commission of an offence, namely assault by beating. Baker accepted [he] said the words but denied intent.
[He] appeared at City of London Magistrates Court for trial on Thursday wearing a green top and red beret.
[He] told the court [he] believed [his] job at the protest was “to get on the front page of the papers”.
[He] added: “I believe my job was to get on the front page of the papers, my job is to get the public to know that transgender people exist.”
Baker insisted [he] was exercising [his] “freedom of expression” when [he] gave the speech on behalf of the ‘Trans Prisoners Alliance’.
Prosecutor Kabir Sondhi told the court [his] speech on behalf of the group had been made to a crowd at Wellington Arch.
He said: “The words were clearly capable of encouraging members of the assembled crowd to go out and commit offences of battery against people, [Mr.] Baker referred to as “Terfs”, by punching them or otherwise assaulting them.