Ex-soldier jailed for 1987 rape

 

A former soldier who raped a nine-year-old girl while serving in Germany 24 years ago was today jailed for seven years after justice finally caught up with him.

Dennis Fitzgerald, 55, from Nottingham, was a member of the Grenadier Guards based in Munster when he attacked the youngster four times in 1987.

Fitzgerald, who is serving a jail term for another rape in Poole, Dorset, also in 1987, was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault and one of rape at a court martial held in Bulford, Wiltshire. He had denied the charges.

Even though Fitzgerald left the Army in 1994 at the rank of lance corporal, the court martial had jurisdiction over the case because it happened overseas.

The woman, now married and in her 30s, was forced to give evidence recounting how Fitzgerald groomed her, assaulted her three times and then raped her in her bedroom. After each attack he told her not to speak to her father about what had happened.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in a statement that the attacks had left her feeling dirty and had affected her as she grew up and she had even contemplated suicide.

Vice-Judge Advocate General Michael Hunter told Fitzgerald at the hearing in Bulford: "Your actions have left your victim with permanent mental scars."

Fitzgerald received an eight-year jail sentence in 2010 at Bournemouth Crown Court when he entered the bedroom of a woman, now aged in her 40s, at her home in November 1987.

He threatened her, blindfolded and gagged her and then raped her twice.

Former factory supervisor Fitzgerald was linked to the Poole rape after Nottinghamshire Police arrested him for possessing child pornography and a DNA match was made to the crime.

The latest victim then also came forward.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before