Drug bust leads to man being convicted for assaults
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.