DNA database helps catch rapist after 18 months

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A rapist tracked down through DNA databank records was jailed for seven years yesterday in what is believed to be the first time a criminal has been caught through such a method.

Abdul Uddin, 36, escaped justice for 18 months, but a breakthrough came when he was convicted of a string of burglaries and his DNA sample was entered into the database of criminals, Judge Nicholas Philpot was told at Inner London Crown Court.

A routine check of records resulted in a perfect match with an intimate sample taken from the sex attacker's victim. Det Sgt David Williams said yesterday: "Police hit a brick wall in the hunt for him, but science tracked him down. The DNA database has become a major weapon in the fight against crime."

Uddin, 36, of Whitechapel, East London, attacked a 25-year-old woman while escorting her to a bus stop in April 1995.