Rapist, 66, who dragged girl, 18, into a bush and raped her as she walked her dog more than 30 years ago laughs as he is arrested after being tracked down via DNA
- A man has admitted raping a teenager more than 30 years ago in Cheltenham
- Paul Shakespeare, 66, tracked down via DNA match, linking him to rape in 1990
- Footage shows Shakespeare laughing as officers tell him he is being arrested
- He pleaded guilty to both charges at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday
A man who dragged an 18-year-old girl into a bush and raped her as she walked her dog more than 30 years ago laughs as he is arrested after being tracked down by DNA.
Paul Shakespeare, 66, of Scaleby Close in Upperby, Carlisle, threatened the teenager with a sharpened stick that had a nail driven through it, whilst she was walking her dog on a footpath in Cheltenham in April 1990.
He forced the victim, who was unknown to him, into nearby undergrowth before assaulting her in broad daylight and fleeing the scene.
Footage taken by police shows Shakespeare laughing at his home as officers tell him he is being ‘arrested on suspicion of rape’.
Paul Shakespeare, 66, (pictured) of Scaleby Close in Upperby, Carlisle, has admitted raping an 18-year-old girl who was walking her dog on a footpath more than 30 years ago after he was tracked down via a DNA match
Shakespeare threatened the teenager with a sharpened stick (pictured) that had a nail driven through it, whilst she was walking her dog on a footpath in Cheltenham in April 1990
A full DNA match was recovered at the time but Shakespeare was never traced.
Despite renewed appeals for information in 2007 and 2008 by Gloucestershire Constabulary, Shakespeare was only tracked down when he was arrested for possession of a knife earlier this year.
After his DNA matched him to the rape in 1990, he was re-arrested on August 15 and subsequently charged with rape and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.
He pleaded guilty to both charges at Gloucester Crown Court via video link from Durham Prison on Thursday.
He admitted that he had an offensive weapon with him at the time – an ‘adapted wooden stick with sharpened end and protruding nail.’
The investigating officer, Detective Constable Simone Bowley, said: ‘Firstly I would like to commend the victim as her bravery and courage has been phenomenal right from the day this horrific crime took place, through to present day.
‘She has had to wait for more than 30 years for Shakespeare to admit his abhorrent crimes.
‘The case has been reopened and reviewed over this time, and she has continued to work with us in the hope that one day he will be caught and brought to justice.’
DC Bowley continued: ‘The impact of this crime was felt within the wider community, too, as people were fearful (after) what took place that day.
‘We all had hope that we would be able to identify the man responsible for this, and I am glad that day has finally come.
The court was told that the rapist’s DNA was taken from the woman when she was interviewed by police but Shakespeare had no criminal record at the time and therefore could not be identified. Pictured: the stick used the threaten the victim
‘I have updated the victim on today’s outcome and she was relieved to hear the news.
‘In Gloucestershire we have a dedicated rape and serious sexual offences team and I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault, whether recent or non-recent, to please contact police or other support agencies and report it.’
At an earlier hearing of the case, James Haskell, prosecuting, said it was a ‘stranger rape’ offence which had remained unsolved for the last 31 years despite extensive police enquiries.
‘An 18-year-old woman was out walking her dog along the footpath when she was approached by Shakespeare. He threatened her with a weapon and warned her to be quiet otherwise he would kill her. He took her into some nearby bushes and is alleged to have raped her’, said the prosecutor.
‘There were other eye witnesses who saw this man acting suspiciously but at the time he could not be positively identified.’
At today’s hearing Judge Lawrie said it was ‘extraordinary’ that the DNA evidence was still available to prove Shakespeare’s guilt after such a long time
He told a police officer in court ‘I didn’t realise you kept DNA banks that long.’
The judge commented that he had read the victim statement made by the woman Shakespeare raped and it made ‘sadly compelling reading.’
‘She wants to be present at the sentencing hearing,’ he said. That was confirmed by a police officer in court.
Remanding Shakespeare, the judge added that he would have to be moved to Bristol Prison ahead of the sentencing date so he could attend the hearing in person.
After today’s hearing Gloucestershire Police stated ‘Shakespeare raped the victim in some nearby undergrowth and afterwards made threats to not tell anyone what he did before he ran away from the scene.
‘A full DNA profile was recovered at the time of the incident, but following numerous attempts over the years to identify the suspect there was no DNA match.
‘However, earlier this year Shakespeare was arrested out of county for being in possession of a knife and his DNA was taken and added to a national database.
‘This later led to a forensic match to the 1990 rape and Shakespeare was arrested on 15 August and subsequently charged with the offences.
‘The case had previously been reopened by Gloucestershire Constabulary in 2007 with renewed appeals for information, including on national television in 2008.’
The court was told that the rapist’s DNA was taken from the woman when she was interviewed by police but Shakespeare had no criminal record at the time and therefore could not be identified.
Shakespeare was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 17 at Bristol Crown Court.
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