Thursday’s news in 5 minutes.

Video via BBC Newsline

1. Couple jailed for keeping intellectually disabled woman as a ‘sex slave’ for eight years.

Care worker Keith Baker, 61, has been jailed for 15 years for keeping a mentally disabled woman captive in a tiny room for eight years in a filthy house in Northern Ireland, AAP reports.

The victim was kept in a room with no light bulbs, carpet or curtains and was ‘rewarded’ with Quality Street chocolates after having ‘depraved’ sex with Keith and other unknown men.

“She told police she did what Baker told her because she was terrified of him but also because he gave her sweets,” a source told The Sun.

The room where she was kept had no handle on the inside, and her toilet was reported to be “overflowing with human excrement”.

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When police found the woman – whose learning difficulties were so severe her IQ placed her in the lowest 0.3 per cent of the population – in 2012, she was so emaciated she weighed only 38 kilograms and had one tooth left.

Her husband had reported her missing in 2004 after she “vanished without a trace”.

Neighbours had no idea the woman was being held captive next door, but have said there were always “strange men” coming and going from the Bakers’ house.

Baker filmed many of his attacks for his own sexual gratification and also held sway over his wife and another partner through his willingness to resort to violence and total immorality, a judge said at Craigavon Crown Court on Tuesday.

Keith’s wife, 54-year-old Caroline, was sentenced to three years in prison, but will be released after 18 months behind bars.

Prosecutors are now considering appealing against the sentences of the couple, on the basis they are “unduly lenient”.

2. Four-year-old boy ‘lucky to escape’ after attempted abduction in Melbourne’s east.

A mother has recounted the horrifying moment a “suspicious man” approached her four-year-old son in an attempted abduction in Croydon yesterday morning.

Speaking to The Herald Sun, Sarah Tishler said her four-year-old son was playing in the front yard of their family home around 11:45am when a man approached him.

“He asked my son what he was doing…he then told my son his car was broken and asked if he could come and help fix his car,” she said.

“I noticed my son had been out front for a few minutes, so I asked my 14-year-old daughter to go and check on him.”

Sarah said the man “jumped into his car and sped off like a rocket” when her daughter approached him.

“For someone with a broken car he took off pretty quick,” she said.

“My daughter came inside with my son who was frightened.”

Police have described the caucasian man as being in his 40s, with brown or grey hair in a bowl cut. He is believed to have been driving a white sedan, possibly a Subaru.

Police are appealing for witnesses who might be able to help with any information. Contact Croydon Police on 9724 0100, Maroondah CIU on 9871 3000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

3. Brisbane man accused of raping a teenager five times.

A Brisbane man is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl, who was a virgin, five times, The Courier Mail reports.

Jack Grimley pleaded not guilty when he appeared in Brisbane District Court yesterday to five counts of raping the teenager at his home in July 6, 2015.

Grimley reportedly told the victim she should “give sex a go” and said he would only drive her home “if she deserved it”.

In her police interview, which was played in court, the girl said she thought she was going to be hanging out with another male friend, Jacob Humm, when Jack Grimley also showed up. She said she knew “sex would be inevitable” when she arrived at the house.

Humm told the court that the girl “looked distressed” during sex and said, “No, please stop it, I just want to go home.”

Grimley told the court he was unaware the girl was just 15 years old, and believed the sex was consensual.

His trial continues today.

4. Death toll from Syrian gas attack rises as world leaders condemn Assad regime.

The death toll from a suspected gas attack on a northern Syrian town has risen to 75 as activists and rescue workers found more terrified survivors hiding in shelters near the site of the assault.

The attack on Khan Sheikhoun left residents gasping for breath and convulsing in the streets. Videos from the scene showed volunteer medics using fire hoses to wash the chemicals from victims’ bodies.

Haunting images of lifeless children piled in heaps reflected the magnitude of the attack, which was reminiscent of a 2013 chemical assault that left hundreds dead and was the worst in the country’s six-year conflict.

The Trump administration and others have blamed the attack on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Trump said the attack in Syria’s Idlib province was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilised world”, although he also sought to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama.

“These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the last administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said in a statement.

“President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing.”

Australia will consider further sanctions on Syria’s Assad regime if it’s found responsible for a chemical weapons attack that has killed dozens of people.

“If the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, as is being alleged, that constitutes a war crime, it constitutes a shocking war crime,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Tasmanian radio station 7AD on Wednesday.

Mr Turnbull condemned the incident as a horrendous attack.

“We’ll be talking with our allies in this conflict to determine what the next step of response and sanctions can be,” Mr Turnbull said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten and foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said the “barbaric and criminal act” highlighted the brutality of the Assad regime towards its own people.

“Chemical weapons are forbidden by the UN and those responsible for this despicable act should be held to account,” they said in a joint statement.

Syria’s government denied it carried out any chemical attack.

5. 10 measles cases confirmed in western Sydney in the past week.

Ten cases of measles have been confirmed in the past week in western Sydney, with NSW Health warning of an outbreak and urging people to get vaccinated.

AAP reports that six more Sydney-siders have contracted measles, taking the number of cases in the past week to 10, with many of those infectious while in the Auburn and Bankstown areas.

“This brings the total number of cases in NSW, with onset this year, to 19,” NSW Health’s director communicable diseases, Dr Vicky Sheppeard, said on Wednesday.

The infected people frequented sites including Wyndham College at Quakers Hill, Fairfield District Medical Centre, Fairfield Hospital Emergency Department, Westmead Children’s Hospital Emergency and the NAS Medical Centre in Auburn during the past week.

“The recent cases reinforce the importance of getting vaccinated,” she said.

“A highly effective measles vaccine has been freely available for many years and it is vital for everyone, including adults and children, to have two doses of the measles vaccine during their lifetime.

“If you develop the symptoms of measles, seek medical advice. Please call ahead to your doctor or emergency department so that arrangements can be made to keep you away from others to minimise the risk of infection,” she said.

Symptoms of the airborne virus include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed by a red, blotchy rash three to four days later.

Parents of infants or others who are not fully vaccinated against measles are being urged to receive the free medication.

6. Ice-addict father who killed his 14-month-old daughter in a car crash faces court.

A drug addict father who killed his 14-month-old daughter in a car crash in Adelaide will forever wrestle with the consequences of his actions, a court has heard.

Tuan Quoc Nguyen, 47, was driving on the drug “ice” with his toddler daughter and four-year-old son in the car when he veered into a pole in Greenacres on Boxing Day in 2013, AAP reports.

The crash killed his daughter and badly injured his son, and Nguyen would later be found guilty of causing the death and injuries through his dangerous driving.

Defence lawyer Ben Sale says his client was caught between being a father and a drug addict at the time.

“Few of us are so unfortunate to suffer the consequences of our weaknesses as badly as Mr Nguyen,” Mr Sale told the SA District Court in sentencing submissions on Wednesday.

“He was a man addicted to methylamphetamine, who was trying to keep a foot in both worlds.

“One of the world of an addict and the other the world of a father.

“These two worlds became tragically incompatible on the day of this offence.”

Nguyen feels responsible for his daughter’s death and he will have to live with this long after he gets out of jail, the court heard.

“That is entirely his doing and his making and he lives with that,” Mr Sale said.

The court heard Nguyen suffered a workplace injury more than 20 years ago that caused him pain.

A friend gave him heroin for the pain and he has been a drug addict ever since.

Prosecutor Stephen Plummer said Nguyen had committed drug and driving offences before this crash.

Nguyen will be sentenced on May 10.

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