Capture, Trial & Sentence

On Nov. 13, ten days after Lamb's murder, Crump and Baker's stolen car was recognized in Maitland, near Newcastle, north of Sydney.

Allan Baker, captured
Allan Baker, captured

chapter continues

When the first police cruiser approached Crump and Baker's moving car, they managed to force it off the road. Another cruiser drew alongside the pair. Baker opened fire through the rear window and wounded one of the officers with a bullet to his forehead. But Crump and Baker's car spun out and after a brief chase and exchange of gunfire with other officers the two men were finally in custody.

At their trial, Crump and Baker pleaded not guilty to the four charges of murdering Ian James Lamb, conspiracy to murder Virginia Morse, maliciously wounding a police officer with intent to prevent lawful apprehension and shooting at police with intent to prevent lawful apprehension.

Both of the accused gave statements from the dock in their own defence.

Baker said, "I did not mean to shoot the man in the car. The gun was a scare weapon. All I meant to do was tie the man up and rob him. When I went over to the car and knocked on the door I said, "Hey you", and the guy in the car sat up suddenly and made a noise and I jumped backwards and the gun went off ... I know we are responsible for the death of Mrs. Morse. I cannot forget it, and I know I should be punished for that, but we didn't agree to kill her 'till the day that we actually did it. When the police were questioning me about Mrs. Morse, I felt so bad about it, I just agreed to everything. That's all I can say."

Kevin Crump also offered little excuse: "I did not kill Mr. Lamb. I agreed to rob him. I knew Baker had a gun, I never thought he would use it. In fact, I never intended to do any harm to Mr. Lamb except tie him up and rob him ... As far as the death of Mrs. Morse is concerned, there was no agreement between me and Baker to do so. I was forced to kill Mrs. Morse because he wanted me in it as deep as him. He said he was going to kill me if I didn't."

Kevin Crump, arrested
Kevin Crump, arrested

It took the jury one hour and forty-five minutes to convict Baker and Crump on all charges. Baker showed no emotion at the verdict, while Crump appeared to stare at the floor and shudder. Mr. Justice Taylor then sentenced both men to life imprisonment.

He said: "You have outraged all accepted standards of the behavior of men. The description of 'men' ill becomes you. You would be more aptly described as animals, and obscene animals at that. I believe that you should spend the rest of your lives in jail and there you should die. If ever there was a case where life imprisonment should mean what it says — imprisonment for the whole of your lives this is it."

While Taylor was passing sentence on Crump and Baker, Virginia Morse's husband got up and hurriedly walked from the courtroom.

1. Rational Minds Gone Astray

2. A New Life of Crime

3. A Human Shield

4. "Forced to Kill Mrs. Morse"

5. Capture, Trial & Sentence

6. Aftermath

7. The Author

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