Serial rapist jailed for 1981 attack

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The Independent Online

A victim of a serial rapist who attacked her nearly 30 years ago as her terrified three-year-old daughter hid behind the settee said she felt "numb" and "angry" when she saw him for the first time today as he was jailed for life.

The woman and her now grown-up daughter sat watching in Sheffield Crown Court as Andrew Longmire appeared by video link from Whitemoor maximum security prison in Cambridgeshire.

Longmire, 54, has been a Category A prisoner for the last 22 years, since he was jailed for life for 11 rapes, three attempted rapes and a range of other offences in Manchester in 1988.

Today, he admitted an attack in 1981 on the woman at her Sheffield home and was given a further life term.

Fiona Swain, prosecuting, told a judge how the victim was 26-years-old when masked Longmire came into her house after her husband had gone to work.

He threatened her with a foot-long screwdriver, forced her to undress and put a cushion cover over her head before he raped her.

Ms Swain said the woman thought she was going to be killed and was terrified the attacker would harm her three-year-old, who hid behind the settee.

Longmire was caught after a "cold-case review" by South Yorkshire Police.

The court went through Longmire's lengthy criminal record which culminated in 1988 when he was sentenced in Manchester to life imprisonment, with a minimum term which was eventually fixed at 20 years.

The judge was told all his applications to be taken out of the most dangerous Category A have been dismissed and the parole board has refused to release him.

He was jailed in 1988 for 11 rapes and three attempted rapes which were described as of a similar type to the one which was outlined in court today.

Longmire targeted women in their late teens or young mothers in a range of places but mainly in the Manchester area.

Today, the Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Alan Goldsack QC, jailed Longmire for life and set a minimum term of two years.

The judge said the attack in Sheffield was a "dreadful offence".

"You raped a young woman in her own home and in the presence of her little child, then aged three," he said.

Judge Goldsack heard how Longmire was diagnosed as having a personality disorder as long ago as 1975 when he was described as a "delinquent psychopath".

He was more recently diagnosed as having an anti-social personality disorder.

"You are a dangerous man," the judge said.

He noted that the two victims of the 1981 attack - the mother and her daughter - had spent nearly three decades not knowing who did it.

"By not admitting this offence long ago, you have put this victim through considerable further trauma," the judge said.

After setting the minimum term, the judge told Longmire: "Whether, after that, you are ever released will only happen if the various risk factors the Parole Board identified have been reduced almost to the point of not existing at all.

"On the evidence I have seen, that's not likely to happen in the foreseeable future."

Longmire, who has long grey hair and a grey beard, sat listening to the judge in a room at the prison.

Speaking outside the court, his victim and her daughter said they were pleased they now had answers and that Longmire was behind bars.

Asked how she felt about seeing his unmasked face for the first time, she said: "Just numb". She then added: "Just angry".

The woman added: "He's too dangerous to be let out.

"You don't want it happen to anybody else."

Recalling the terrible events of 1981, she said she was terrified for her daughter.

"I just wanted to pick her up," she said.

Asked about the cold-case review and the conviction of Longmire, the woman said: "I hope it makes more women come forward, though, and do what I've done."

Her daughter said that for a long time she remembered the events of that night as a terrible dream.

Longmire is originally from Bolton, Lancashire, and he lived in the Manchester area during the 1980s, police said.

Detective Sergeant Ian Harding, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "This incident had a devastating effect on this woman, her husband and their child.

"The effects of what Andrew Longmire did that day have haunted this family ever since and I am so pleased that they have now seen justice done after all these years.

"When considering this case, though Longmire had been serving sentences which most people might assume would keep him in prison forever, the fact remained that he was technically eligible to apply for parole.

"This, along with the value of the victim gaining closure, persuaded us that it was in the public interest to proceed with this case. I am pleased to say our colleagues in the CPS agreed with our view."