Raymond Manners, 56, plead guilty at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday 9 May to the rape, committed on 23 February 1991 in the Chapeltown area of Leeds.
Manners went into the victim’s house and then raped her before making off.
Officers at the time were unable to identify the culprit but the case was later reviewed by the Operation Recall team – the unit set up to specifically look at previously unsolved cases involving sexual assault.
The team spotted similarities between this case and two other unsolved rapes dating back to 1979.
In 2012 the Recall team successfully linked Manners through forensic evidence to the 1979 rapes and he was sentenced to 10 years for the crimes. He was, however, released without charge in relation to the 1991 offence as the forensic evidence available did not meet the necessary prosecuting criteria.
After advances in forensic techniques and with Manners safely in prison officers in 2016 again reviewed the 1991 offence.
By using the new DNA17 profiling technique it was successfully proved that he was well represented in a forensic sample left at the crime scene, with a further seven strands of his DNA identified.
Due to the complexity of the result, however, it was not possible to provide a statistical likelihood of the sample being his. The decision was taken therefore to use the specialist statistical evaluation tool LiRa to get a result.
Manners was then brought from prison and arrested and interviewed about the offence. He denied being responsible and provided a further DNA sample for the LiRa evaluation.
In October 2016 forensic scientists came back with the news the team were hoping for – the LiRa tool gave the result that it was in excess of a billion times more likely that the DNA did belong to Manners.
He was then charged with the offence in March 2017 and was today sentenced to 12 years for the offence.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley who leads the Operation Recall team, said:
“This is a fantastic result. It has brought justice and hopefully some closure for the victim and sent a message to any criminals still out there who think the passage of time has meant they have gotten away with what they did.
“I want them to be dreading that knock on the door and to always be looking over their shoulder for the police to come.
“We never close a case until it is solved. The passage of time only increases our determination to crack a case and advances in forensic evidence and technology are helping us to achieve results.
There is an incredibly hard working team who are combining good ‘old fashioned detective work’ with fantastic scientific breakthroughs to bring criminals to justice and to send them to prison where they belong. I would like to praise their work in bringing Manners to justice and the work of our partners in the LGC Forensic Science Service who gave invaluable support to the investigation.
“Manners may have thought that as he was already in prison for two other offences that we would just forget about what he did. We didn’t and now he faces even more time inside to consider the terrible ordeal he subjected his victim to.”
If you have been the victim of a sexual offence and previously not had the confidence to report it to police call the Operation Recall team on 101
1979 – Manners commits two rapes but neither case is solved
1991 – Manners commits another rape but detectives are unable to solve the case
2006 – The 1979 cases are reviewed by the Operation Recall team and similarities with the 1991 rape are found. Further forensic work is carried out and in
2012 – Manners is arrested and charged for the 1979 rapes but the evidence for the 1991 offence is deemed not to be strong enough to meet the prosecution criteria.
2016 – With further scientific breakthroughs the evidence in the 1991 offence is reviewed again. This time, the evidence is strong enough. Manners ends up admitting the offence
25 May 2017 – Manners, already serving 10 years for the 1979 offences, is sentenced to an additional 12 years inside.