Sarah Jane Baker: Trans woman arrested over ‘Punch TERFs’ speech recalled to prison

Trans activist Sarah Jane Baker, wearing a red cap and pink and blue scarf, holds a dog on her shoulder and raises her fist in solidarity with trans rights.

Sarah Jane Baker, who was arrested for allegedly calling on activists to “punch TERFs” at London Trans+ Pride, has been recalled to prison.

Baker was arrested on 12 July, several days after she reportedly said during an open mic segment at Trans+ Pride: “If you see a TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist], punch them in the f**king face.”

She was subsequently charged under section 4a of the Public Order Act, which states that a person is guilty of an offence if: “[the individual] uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour.”

Baker has pleaded not guilty during a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, but has since been recalled to prison reportedly for breaching the terms of her licence conditions.

She will remain there pending the outcome of her trial.

The activist was released on parole in 2019 after serving 30 years of a life sentence for kidnapping and torturing her stepmother’s brother in the late 1980s and the later attempted murder of a child rapist while she was in prison.

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Sarah Jane Baker
Sarah Jane Baker at the Trans+ Pride protest.

In 2020, during her imprisonment, Baker told PinkNews that she suffered physical attacks, had been stabbed, and had been raped a number of times as a result of being trans.

Following the news that she had been arrested, a group launched a crowdfunder which has, at the time of reporting, raised more than £1,800.

The group, calling itself “Free Sarah Jane Baker,” are arguing that pressure from anti-trans activists motivated Baker’s arrest and detention.

“Sarah’s case is a concern for all who believe in freedom of speech,” the crowdfunder reads. “The response from the police, probation and the [Crown Prosecution Service] to her comment is disproportionate and reflects the systemic transphobia and silencing of left-wing activists.”

Baker’s trial is set to begin on 31 August at City of London Magistrates’ Court, according to the group, who have said they will be hosting a demonstration on the day.