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12 May 2015, 17:10
A Worcestershire man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison following a conviction for rape and robbery committed in the 1990's.
David John Woodings, 59, of Summerfield Gardens, Evesham appeared at Worcester Crown Court after admitting a rape and robbery in 1991. He was handed 15 years in prison for rape and 12 years for robbery, to be served concurrently.
On 3rd July 1991, the victim was at home with her young baby in an isolated rural property in Bromsgrove when the offender, who was unknown to her, knocked at the door and calmly enquired whether her husband was in. Once he knew she was alone he forced his way inside, pushed her to the floor and tied her up with masking tape. He then subjected her to a sexual assault and rape.
After committing the offence he stole the victim's cheque book and cash card, using one of the cheques to make several purchases, which enquiries were able to trace back to Woodings.
Woodings was arrested and charged in November 2014, after West Mercia Police reopened an investigation after a review of forensic evidence in historic sexual offence investigations.
Following advances in DNA technology samples gathered in the original investigation were re-examined and Wooding's profile identified. The victim was contacted and re-interviewed in 2014. Further enquiries were also undertaken, which linked Woodings to the rape.
Detective Inspector 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. We were able to re-examine DNA samples and identify Wooding's profile 23 years after the incident happened. I hope this conviction and ongoing specialist support will help bring some closure."
The victim who wishes to remain anonymous 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."