New DNA tests help snare 1985 sex at­tacker

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

AD­VANCES in DNA and foren­sic sci­ence snared a rapist more than 30 years af­ter he sub­jected his vic­tim to a hor­ri­fy­ing sex at­tack as she walked home.

Ron­ald Dick­ens, 47 ( above), pleaded guilty to the 1985 rape at Coven­try Crown Court on Mon­day and was jailed for eight years.

War­wick­shire Po­lice said a ma­jor cold case re­view of sex crimes where the of­fender was never iden­ti­fied had used mod­ern foren­sic tech­niques to help bring Dick­ens to jus­tice.

The fe­male vic­tim was in her 20s when Dick­ens struck, hav­ing fol­lowed her in Rugby in the early hours of Novem­ber 24, 1985.

Dick­ens, of Rugby, then dragged his vic­tim into a lane and sub­jected her to what po­lice de­scribed as a “bru­tal and vi­o­lent” as­sault.

Af­ter sen­tenc­ing, Det Sgt Paul Thomp­son said: “This in­ci­dent com­pletely changed her life and she has been look­ing over her shoul­der for the past 30 years, not know­ing who as­saulted her.”

He com­mended the vic­tim’s courage, adding that it had been “an in­cred­i­bly trau­matic process” for the woman.

Mr Thomp­son added: “I hope the con­clu­sion of this case gives the vic­tim some clo­sure and al­lows her to move on from this aw­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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