DNA evidence snares rapist after cold case review

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The Independent Online

A man already serving a nine-year prison sentence for rape was jailed for a further six years today for raping another woman 21 years ago after a cold case review caught him, police said.

New developments in DNA technology enabled experts to find a one in a billion match with Stanley Daniels and charge him over the rape of the teenager in Sandgate, near Folkestone, Kent, in 1989.

The 57-year-old, formerly of Blackbull Road, Folkestone, was already serving a sentence for a rape he committed in Folkestone in March 2005, and his latest sentence will not begin until that one has been carried out, a Kent Police spokeswoman said.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate's cold case investigation team started re-investigating the original rape last year and samples taken from the victim back in 1989 were re-examined by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) to see if new developments in DNA technology could give them any new leads in the case.

They found Daniels' DNA matched and he was charged with rape in April this year.

Daniels, who was also sentenced to six months in a detention centre in 1971 for indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl, was due to go on trial but pleaded guilty to the charge of rape when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court today.

The court heard that in the early hours of October 20 1989, an 18-year-old woman was walking along the promenade on Sandgate Esplanade when a man wearing a balaclava approached her and threatened her with a knife before pulling her to the ground near the sea wall and raping her.

Daniels, who was working as a fisherman at the time, then fled the scene while his victim found a nearby phone box and called police.

After the sentencing, Detective Inspector Dave Withers of the cold case investigation team, said: "In 1989 a young woman's life was changed dramatically by this horrific unprovoked attack. Twenty-one years have passed since then and she has lived with this every day.

"The damage done to a young woman's confidence and self-esteem by an attack like this cannot be underestimated.

"This is tribute to the victim's strength of character that she has been willing to support this prosecution and been prepared to give evidence even after all this time.

"We have a duty to give justice to the victims of attacks like this one. For many years the victims may be looking over their shoulder wondering if the person walking past them in the street or standing next to them in the supermarket queue could be their attacker.

"And it could be the person responsible might still be offending and we need to protect the public."

Simon Ringrose, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "When faced with this evidence, Stanley Daniels had little alternative but to plead guilty to the charge of rape 21 years after he committed this terrible crime.

"The victim has shown great courage and determination in supporting the prosecution and it is gratifying that she is saved the burden of reliving her ordeal at a trial.

"We hope Daniels' conviction reassures the public that we continue to vigorously address rape cases through the joined up approach of Kent Police, the CPS and the Forensic Science Service."