In the United Kingdom, sex crimes are frequently covered by the national news. Indeed, some commentators have claimed that fears of pedophilia in Great Britain have reached "hysteria" levels. That being said, very real pedophiles still walk British streets, and some independent organizations have designed with the sole purpose of outing pedophiles. One such group, Southampton Trap, works in the Hampshire city of Southampton as a Sting operation designed to ensnare pedophiles.

One of the people caught by Southampton Trap was 43-year-old gardener David Baker. According to a Facebook post by Southampton Trap, Baker was lured into meeting a fictional 14-year-old in a parking lot of a local supermarket.

This footage was then turned over to police. After being released from police custody in October 2017, Baker committed suicide by overdosing on prescription medication. This verdict was recently released to the media by the Winchester Coroner's Court.

Shame

By all appearances, Baker's suicide came as a result of his shame over being caught in a very public sting operation. Just three days after being caught and recorded by Southampton Trap, Baker took his own life on October 7. At the scene, investigators discovered that Baker had barricaded himself inside of his Wickham, Hampshire home prior to committing suicide. Baker also cut out his face from all family photos and wrote two suicide notes.

At the time of his suicide, Baker was engaged to Kelly Davies. Baker was also the step-father of Cherelle Stares.

According to Davies, she did not learn about the Southampton Trap video until several of her friends posted the video on their Facebook accounts. As for Stares, she has told the press that her family did not feel safe in their own house because of the outrage caused by the viral video. "I didn't feel safe as there are idiots out there, and I didn't want a brick being put through the window with my mum and daughter there."

Both Stares and Davies have said that they knew nothing of Baker's predilections prior to the October 4 sting. Both have also noted that Baker was a kind, generous man who was well liked by his neighbors.

Multiple cases

Following the news of Baker's suicide, Southampton Trap posted their condolences on their Facebook page. "Our hearts go out to his family at the time and although we can't stop you we ask that you think before you put negative comments," the group wrote in a post. The vigilante group has also taken down the video featuring Baker.

The story of David Baker has already become part of a larger patchwork of high-profile pedophile cases in the UK.

After his death in 2011, media star and celebrity DJ Jimmy Savile was outed as a prolific pedophile who used his clout within the BBC to prey on vulnerable young girls. The Savile scandal brought to light the fact that for years, powerful people in the British media covered up Savile's crimes. Some commentators have even argued that Savile's secretive "sex ring" included powerful figures in the British government.

Another major sex scandal came to light in 2013, when the British government revealed that white British girls, most of whom were underage, had been systematically exploited by mostly Muslim men for decades in the northern cities of Rotherham and Rochdale. This "grooming" scandal, which was covered up by local British police departments because of cultural sensitivity, has caused further tensions between the native-born British population and Asian Muslim citizens on the isle. Just this week, the Independent has reported that as many as 700 native British girls were raped, molested, and prostituted by 17, mostly Pakistani Muslim men in the city of Newcastle.