A killer who attacked his ex-partner with a mallet in front of their two young children has been jailed for life.

Carolyn Kemp was lured by Trevor Baker to his home in Romford in November 2009.

He then attacked her in front of their four-year-old son Callum and three-year-old daughter Kiera, the Old Bailey heard.

Carolyn suffered a permanent brain injury and died 13 years later, in September 2022.

In 2010, Baker admitted attempted murder and was handed an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term of eight years.

On Friday, the 53-year-old was jailed for life at the Old Bailey after admitting Carolyn’s murder in March.

Judge Alexia Durran said the minimum term would be 20 years but that was reduced to five years and eight months due to the time he has already served in prison.

The court was told Baker had a history of violence, and coercive and controlling behaviour towards women.

He had previous convictions for making threats to kill and assault, including on his ex-wife in 1997, and was on bail at the time of the attack on Carolyn.

The couple had been together for nine years but, following their separation, Baker became depressed, drank heavily and became “fixated” with Carolyn, prosecutor Henrietta Paget KC said.

He confided in a neighbour that he was planning to give away the family pet, a Staffordshire bull terrier, and said of his ex-partner: “I have got to kill her, she’s got to go.”

Before the attack on Carolyn, he had taken a hammer to the family home, smashing up the television and photographs, the court heard.

On November 25 2009, Baker told Carolyn he was too ill to return their children from an access visit and she should collect them instead.

After he attacked her, Baker left with the children and used Carolyn’s car to drive to his mother’s house, with blood on the sleeve of his jumper.

He told his mother that he had hit Carolyn with a rubber mallet, then called an ambulance and left the door open.

In fact, Baker had not alerted emergency services and Carolyn was not found for 24 hours when her concerned brother Christopher forced open the door.

He and his mother Sylvia discovered Carolyn and she was taken to hospital.

Police uncovered various weapons, including a mallet in the shoe rack.

The family dog was found dead in the shed, having been strangled by Baker.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Carolyn KempCarolyn Kemp (Image: Met Police)In an emotional statement in court, Callum said: “I witnessed the assault on my mother by my father.”

Afterwards, he said Baker had dragged him to the car “by the throat” and left his mother to die.

He said: “Without my family’s support I would not be the person you see here today.

“However, witnessing the attack left me with severe psychological scars I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

He said his father was a “danger to society” and expressed a hope he would not “see the light of day”.

Kiera said in a statement read to the court that she had suffered “deep childhood trauma”.

After being attacked “so horrifically”, her mother had been left trapped in her own body – unable to move, talk or even give her a hug, she said.

Sylvia said in her statement that she had acted on a “mother’s instinct” when she went in search of her stricken daughter.

She said that she could only imagine the pain she had to endure in the hours before she was found.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Trevor BakerTrevor Baker (Image: Met Police)

Sylvia, who went on to raise her two now-adult grandchildren, said: “I will never get over what happened to my Carolyn. She never deserved to be put through this ordeal.

“You, Trevor Baker, will never know how much you have put my family through. Your actions ruined the lives of your innocent children for evermore.

“They should never have had their mother taken away so cruelly.”

Mitigating, Rudi Fortson KC, said the defendant recognised that he had destroyed two families’ lives and that his children were “significantly affected” by his actions.

He said: “It is for those reasons that the defendant to his eternal credit pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2010 and 15 years later pleaded guilty to murder.”

Baker, who attended court by video link from Belmarsh jail, sat impassively throughout the hearing.

Carolyn’s children were joined by their grandmother and other family members who appeared tearful in court.

Reporting by PA.