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Prison death confirmed as paedophile Baxter

Wendell Baxter: the former footballer died in prison on Saturday

Police have confirmed the sudden death in prison of convicted paedophile Quinton Wendell Baxter.

The 59-year-old was found in an unresponsive state at Westgate on Saturday evening and later pronounced dead, despite life-saving efforts, according to a spokesman for the Bermuda Police Service.

“A police-led investigation continues regarding the circumstances of Mr Baxter’s death,” the spokesman said, adding that BPS extended condolences to Baxter’s family.

The law in Bermuda requires that an inquest be held when a person dies in prison.

Baxter, often called “Woolly”, was a well-known local footballer who during his career led North Village to the Triple Crown of league, Friendship Trophy and FA Cup when the side dominated in the late Seventies. He went on to become a respected coach.

However, in December 2016, Baxter handed himself in to police and confessed to repeatedly sexually abusing a young boy between 1976 and 1979.

He also told police that he had sexually exploited at least eight young males during the period 1976 to 1986, but he did not disclose their identities.

In March, he pleaded guilty to a total of 18 separate charges of sexual abuse relating to three young boys.

The first seven counts on the indictment, which included indecent assault, committing indecent acts and gross indecency, related to the first young victim and took place between 1973 and 1983.

The next six counts included indecent assault, committing indecent acts, attempted buggery and buggery and related to a second victim between 1978 and 1983, while the final five counts included indecent assault and committing indecent acts on a third victim between 1981 and 1986.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, one victim said Baxter’s actions had a lasting effect on him and called on the community to mend the social cracks that allow abuse to occur.

“To the people of Bermuda, it is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, so it’s confusing to me that in a country this small we seem to struggle with that concept,” the victim, who cannot be identified, wrote.

“Is it because we are not prepared to expose individuals close to us, be they family members or longstanding friends, administrators or anybody that we hold in high esteem?

“After these many years I have come to the realisation that this was so much bigger than me and that I had a responsibility to formally address the abuse that I endured in order to protect others, particularly those in vulnerable situations.”

Last month, Baxter was jailed for 11 years for the historic offences, but detectives said they would investigate any further allegations against him.

In the wake of the conviction, the Coalition for the Protection of Children urged young victims of sexual abuse to come forward, while the Bermuda Football Association called for child welfare officers to be assigned to organisations dealing with vulnerable persons.

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