Drug bust leads to man be­ing con­victed for as­saults

Stirling Times - - News - Jon Bas­sett

DNA taken as the re­sult of a mar­i­juana-grow­ing drug bust has led to the con­vic­tion of Port Kennedy man Dar­ren Robert Atkin­son (44) for the cold-case sex­ual as­saults of teenage women in Tuart Hill and Queen’s Park.

Both as­saults were about two decades old be­fore Mr Atkin­son was sen­tenced to 15 years, with a 12-year min­i­mum and el­i­gi­bil­ity for pa­role, for them at the Perth Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day.

“The con­vic­tion of this of­fender clearly demon­strates the ben­e­fi­cial out­comes that can re­sult from tak­ing iden­ti­fy­ing par­tic­u­lars when­ever the op­por­tu­nity arises in terms of solv­ing past or fu­ture crimes,” WA Po­lice As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Michelle Fyfe said.

Mrs Fyfe said Atkin­son’s con­vic­tion had pro­vided “some an­swers and clo­sure” for the victims of his at­tacks.

WA’s foren­sic DNA data­base of about 264,000 DNA pro­files is the sec­ond-largest in Aus­tralia. Po­lice can take sam­ples if a per­son is a sus­pect or charged with a se­ri­ous of­fence with a max­i­mum penalty of more than 12 months jail.

Atkin­son was found guilty of the sex­ual as­sault of a 19-year-old woman in her Tuart Hill apart­ment on July 24, 1999, and an 18year-old woman in Queen’s Park on June 21, 1997.

His sen­tence in­cluded ad­di­tional bur­glary and de­pri­va­tion of lib­erty con­vic­tions which will run con­cur­rently with his im­pris­on­ment for the as­saults, when he broke into the women’s homes and tied them up be­fore com­mit­ting his crimes.

Atkin­son was ar­rested in May and pleaded guilty to the crimes at Perth Mag­is­trates Court in June.

He will ap­pear in court to face charges from the drug raid on Fe­bru­ary 2.

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