Rapist who stole victims' shoes is jailed for 15 years

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A serial rapist who stole women's stiletto shoes after attacking them has been sentenced to 15 years in jail, after escaping detection for two decades.

James Lloyd, a 49-year-old father of two, admitted being the "Dearne Valley shoe rapist" after he was identified from his sister's DNA profile. Police were able to match DNA left at crime scenes to Lloyd, due to similarities with his relative's genetic make-up. The technique has been used since 2000.

Lloyd admitted raping four women in the early 1980s and trying to rape another two, Sheffield Crown Court heard. He tied women up with tights and then stole their shoes.

When he was eventually caught, police found more than 100 stilettos at the print shop manager's home in Thurnscoe, near Barnsley, and workplace near Rotherham.

When he was arrested, after a suicide attempt, he told the officers: "I knew that was coming. I was a bastard 20 years ago."

Yesterday, Judge Alan Goldsack QC gave Lloyd an indeterminate sentence and ordered he should spend at least 15 years in prison before he is assessed for release.

Sentencing Lloyd, he said: "Few sexual cases are more serious than these." The judge said the defendant had terrorised an area between Rotherham and Barnsley in South Yorkshire for a three-year period in the 1980s.

In a statement read out on behalf of Lloyd's victims, relatives said: " James Desmond Lloyd has been at liberty for over 20 years knowing what he had done to a number of women.

"He has hidden behind the façade of respectability and has shown no remorse for the crimes he had committed. We now hope that this enables people to move on with their lives. Unfortunately, some of the people who were affected by Lloyd are no longer with us today to see justice served and they too are in our thoughts today. We are aware that had it not been for modern technology surrounding DNA, Lloyd would still be a free man."