Driving offence leads to trucker being jailed for 'brutal' 1989 rape

A lorry driver was jailed today for raping a woman two decades ago - after he was snared by a DNA sample he gave last year for a motoring offence.

Leslie Marshall, 51, of South Lanarkshire, was given a six and a half year sentence for the brutal sex attack, after evading justice for more than 20 years.

The father-of-five raped a 22-year-old in a parked car in a country lane in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1989.

He was finally caught after his arrest for a minor driving offence last July.

Marshall, of Stonefield Road, Blantyre, was detained for fiddling his tachograph, which tracks a lorry's movements.

During the police investigation, his DNA was taken and proved a match for the cold case.

Marshall's victim said she has lived in fear for the last two decades but can finally move on now he has been caught.

She said: "I was always looking over my shoulder. I never wanted to do anything or go anywhere, just in case they were there.

"A lot of friends, I felt, didn't believe me. I have lost touch with them.

"The nightmares will never stop, but I hope they will not be as bad knowing somebody has been done for it."

Marshall, acting with an unknown man, cornered the woman as she walked home from a friend's house in the early hours of January 18, 1989.

They forced her into a car and drove away to a secluded location before subjecting her to the violent rape.

Marshall managed to evade detection but the case was reopened two years ago.

Scientists were able to re-analyse slides from the original investigation.

A male profile was obtained and loaded on to the National DNA Database.

The profile was later matched to Marshall, who was arrested in Glasgow last October, and he later admitted he was behind the attack.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life during the hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Detective Constable Lisa Baxter, from Lancashire Police, said she hoped his victim found comfort in the jail term, after so many years of suffering.

She said: "This case should send a clear warning to offenders: despite the passage of time we never give up hope of bringing offenders to justice - we constantly review older cases and we will catch up with you and you will be brought before the courts for punishment."