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A paedophile who snatched young girls from the street in the 80s and 90s, including two in Hampshire, has been jailed.
David Edward Bryant, 64, of Ulverston, Cumbria, was today sentenced to 16 years at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court having pleaded guilty to four counts of kidnapping and indecent assault.
The sentencing of Bryant is a successful result for Hampshire Constabulary’s historic serious sexual offences review team, Operation Galaxy.
Operation Galaxy commenced in January 2010 to review the DNA forensic potential of all undetected serious sexual offences across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight since records began in 1980s. The advancements in forensic investigation meant additional tests could be carried out that weren’t available at the time of the incident.
The team found forensic potential in two child abuse cases which took place in Gosport and Lordshill, Southampton in the early 1980s (Operation Venus). In July 2010 these two cases were together forensically linked to two cases of childabuse in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria (Operation Traveller).
The forensic evidence from three of the cases provided a full DNA profile with the probability rating of 1:1 billion and the forth provided a full DNA profile with the probability rating of 1:1 million.
In May 2011 Bryant was brought in as a suspect following notification from the Forensic Science Service that a profile match had been found through a relative of Bryant’s.
A joint police investigation between Hampshire Constabulary and Northumbria Police mapped the history of Bryant’s whereabouts to see that he had worked and lived in Hampshire in the 1980s and had joined and trained in the army in Harrogatebefore moving to Cumbria in 1995.
On May 24, 2011 Bryant was arrested and his DNA was confirmed to match that found at all four crime scenes. On January, 10 2011 Bryant pleaded guilty to four counts of kidnapping and indecent assault.
Hampshire’s senior investigating officer for Operation Venus DI Julian Venner said, “Both Northumbria Police, Hampshire Constabulary and Forensic Science Service have rightly invested significant time and resources into these linked offences.David Bryant eventually pleaded guilty due to overwhelming forensic evidence and his life history whereby the police from both forces were able to prove he was living and working within close proximity of these offences when they were committed.”
Operation Galaxy ended in September 2011. Over the 14 months the team reviewed over 3000 historic cases for forensic potential.