Man Jailed For Rugby Rape 31 Years Ago

A Warwickshire man's been jailed for 8 years for the rape of a woman in the 1980s.

The woman in her 20s at the time, was raped in Hunters Lane in Rugby, as she walked home in the early hours one morning in November 1985.

Police say 47-year-old Ronald Dickens followed her and subjected her to a brutal rape, completely altered his victim's life.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson, said:

"Ronald Dickens subjected the victim to a horrific attack which has altered the course of her life.  This incident completely changed her life and she has been looking over her shoulder for the past 30 years not knowing who assaulted her.  

"I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for the courage she showed in coming forward to police and thank her for the support throughout the investigation which has undoubtedly been an incredibly traumatic process."

This conviction comes as a result of Operation Scenic which is a major review of non-recent sexual assaults where offenders were not identified.  Advancements in DNA technology has allowed Warwickshire Police to reinvestigate offences which have remained undetected until now.

DS Paul Thompson said:

"Operation Scenic has allowed us to identify further forensic opportunities and utilise innovative technologies and techniques which were not available at the time of the offences.  

"I would like to thank the Major Crime Review Team, who identified Dickens with the assistance of our forensic providers, the Major Investigation Unit and the forensic scientists for their hard work in relation to this investigation.  I hope the conclusion of this case gives the victim some closure and allows her to move on from this awful experience."

Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to come forward to police to make a report.  Anyone who does so will be fully supported throughout the investigation by Specially Trained Officers (STOs) in a caring and sensitive manner.  

If you choose not to come forward to police you can also contact the Blue Sky Sexual Assault Referral Centre located at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.  The centre provides access to emergency medical treatment, emotional support and referrals to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) for anyone from Coventry or Warwickshire who has been raped or sexually assaulted.  You can contact them on 02476 865 505 or visit their website www.blueskycentre.org.uk .

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