A MAN has been jailed for 15 years for raping a Bromsgrove mum while her eight-month-old baby was in the house.
David John Woodings, of Summerfield Gardens, Evesham, pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday (May 12) to the rape and robbery following a re-investigation into the horrific incident which happened 23 years ago.
The court heard on July 3, 1991, the victim was at her isolated home in the town when the 59-year-old, who was unknown to her, knocked on her door. He asked if her husband was home and then forced his way inside.
Woodings pushed the woman to the floor and tied her up with masking tape before subjecting her to a degrading and prolonged sexual assault and rape.
He stole her cheque book and cash card which he used to make several purchases, these were traced back to him.
Advances in DNA technology enabled the police to re-examine the samples taken which led to identifying the man’s profile and his arrest.
The victim was re-interviewed in November last year and further enquiries were made which also linked Woodings to the crime.
The anonymous victim said: “It is difficult to express how I am feeling today.
“Not only was I subject to the most degrading crime 23 years ago, but the fact that it happened in my own home with my eight-month-old baby present was horrific and to this day has had a devastating affect on me and my family.
“I had given up hope of this man ever being found so it was a shock when the police knocked on my door last October with the news of the DNA profile.
“I really didn’t want to have to talk in detail and relive that ordeal again after so long, so it was a difficult decision for me to assist the police. I didn’t think I could.
“However, the excellent, personal, sensitive support I received from the police made it possible.
“They were very victim focused and led me through the investigation every step of the way at my own pace, which gave me the strength and confidence to see this through.
“The public should be encouraged to know that these sorts of cases are regularly reviewed and I would like this to serve as an example to any other victims who should take comfort from this conviction and have the courage to come forward and engage with the police.”
Woodings was also given a 12-year sentence for the robbery which will run concurrently, meaning he will serve 15 years in total.
Det Insp Adam Hartwright said: “This was a deeply frightening and traumatic attack on the victim and I would like to pay testament to the courage and support she has shown throughout the investigation.
“As a result of her ability to recall what happened on that day in July 1991, and the application of advanced forensic technology, justice has finally been served.
“I hope this conviction and ongoing specialist support will help bring some closure.
“This case also serves to highlight that with ever improving investigation processes and advances in forensic technology, it is possible in some cases to identify and bring offenders to justice many years after the offences have happened, which is why Warwickshire and West Mercia Police is committed to reviewing such cases.
“I’d like to thank everyone who played a part in building this investigation to a successful outcome.”