A man who raped a woman at knifepoint in the 1980’s has been jailed for nine years and 10 months following a successful prosecution.

Benjamin Whitehead was 16 when he raped his victim during a burglary at her home in 1988. Whitehead threatened to slit his victim’s throat during the attack after she woke to find him standing over her bed. The victim reported the crime to the police and DNA samples were taken but the victim was not identified.

Following a review of the case in 2013, Nottinghamshire police re-examined all of the samples using more modern techniques. A match to Mr Whitehead was made and police took new DNA samples from the victim and defendant for further analysis.

The University of Leicester aided the police by recreating a laboratory from the 1980’s to prove that the DNA would have matched then as well as now.

Whitehead was charged in early 2018 and initially denied all charges before changing his plea to guilty of aggravated burglary and rape on the first day of his trial.

Sentencing Mr Whitehead to prison the judge told him that his actions had “destroyed a life within minutes”.

Gordon Aspden was instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service in Leicester.


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