Killer facing new life term for rape

A convicted killer was facing another life sentence tonight after he was convicted of brutally raping a woman just months after being released from prison on parole.

Mark Shirley subjected his victim to degrading and humiliating abuse in a bid to re-enact a ritualistic murder he committed 22 years ago.



Shirley, 39, who was sentenced to life in 1987 but was later released on licence, imprisoned the mother-of-five in her own home, where he attacked her at knifepoint for three and a half hours.



The Parole Board, which agreed Shirley's release in 2008, said tonight that it would be reviewing the case.



A jury at Bristol Crown Court found Shirley guilty of false imprisonment, rape, three counts of assault by penetration, and committing false imprisonment with the intention of committing a sexual offence.



As the verdicts were read, Shirley shook uncontrollably and his victim wept.



Mr Justice John Royce said he considered Shirley to be "a very dangerous man" and asked for a full report before sentencing him at Bristol Crown Court on 15 December.



Shirley was convicted of murdering 67-year-old Mary Wainwright in Cardiff when he was 16.



After denying the murder, he was found guilty at Cardiff Crown Court and given a life sentence.



The killer was released after 16 years on parole in 2003. He was later recalled to prison for excessive drinking but released again in August 2008.



Just seven months after his second release from prison, on 20 March this year, in north Bristol, Shirley attacked his latest victim.



Mr Justice Royce said he was considering sentencing Shirley once again to life.



Giving evidence to the jury last week, Shirley's victim fought back tears as she relived the attack.



She said Shirley repeatedly alluded to his murder victim throughout her ordeal - but she had no idea what he was talking about.



She said: "He said had been watching her for a couple of weeks when he broke into her house. He said when he broke into her flat he laid her on the floor. He said he held her on the floor then stabbed her in her side."



She said Shirley became angry, arguing with himself, and added: "He treated me like Mary. I firmly believe he was talking to Mary."



She said Shirley told her he had left a 2p piece and an "ornamental knife" on Mary's body.



The woman said Shirley raped and sexually assaulted her on her own kitchen table.



She added: "He kept saying he wanted to make me smell as sweet as Mary. I kept thinking 'Oh my God, I'm not going to be picking up my children today'."



The court heard that the ordeal came to an end when, by chance, the woman's son visited the house.



Prosecutor Rosaleen Collins said Shirley, who had a catalogue of youth offences, including burglary, to his name, was "re-enacting that which had taken place 22 years ago".



Ms Collins told the jury that, back in 1987, Cardiff Crown Court heard Mrs Wainwright's flat was ransacked and there were "ritualistic elements" surrounding her murder.



Shirley had indeed placed a 2p piece on his victim's abdomen, as well as a bent knife, and clothing was wrapped around her blood-soaked body.



Outside court, Shirley's victim, supported by family, declined to comment.



A spokesman for the Parole Board said a review committee "will consider and identify what lessons can be learnt from this case in order to help prevent further such incidents".



The case comes in the same week a teenager was jailed for raping a five-year-old just eight days after being spared custody for a similar sex assault.



The leniency of the original sentence handed down to the 16-year-old prompted a legal challenge but he attacked again before it could reach court.



This week he was told he would be released only when he is no longer considered a danger to the public.



Following Shirley's conviction, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Mr Shirley alone is responsible for his actions. Unfortunately risk can never be eliminated entirely but we are determined to have the best possible systems in place to supervise offenders in the community and protect the public."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil