Man jailed over 1980 rape

Thirty years after a teenage girl was forced into a car and raped in the Thames Valley, a man's been jailed for nine years for the attack.

Ronald Cheshire (right), who was already serving a prison sentence at Bullingdon Prison in Oxfordshire for the murder of Rachel Partridge in Bledlow Ridge in 1987, had already pleaded guilty to one count of rape, one count of kidnap, and one count of false imprisonment.  He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Thursday 23 September 2010.

Two 15 year old girls were walking along Switchback Road North in Maidenhead, Berkshire in May 1980 when they were approached by Cheshire, who was driving car.  He tried to grab both girls.  One escaped but her friend was taken away and seriously sexually assaulted.

Cheshire was only arrested over the Maidenhead attack in April 2010, when police officers working with the Crown Prosecution Service uncovered new forensic evidence.

Detective Superintendent Barry Halliday, Head of Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Review Team (MCRT), said: "I am satisfied with today’s sentence, which reflects the seriousness of Cheshire’s crime and the fact he evaded justice for so long. Cheshire originally pleaded guilty in July, as he knew the evidence against him was too strong to dispute.

"This result shows that offender's who think they have got away with a crime years or even decades later, that the MCRT will be doing their utmost to bring them to justice.

"I hope today’s result will give victims of serious sexual crime the confidence to report incidents, the confidence that they will be investigated fully, and the confidence that Thames Valley Police will work tirelessly to bring those responsible to justice. This applies to both historic and current offences.

"This group of officers from the MCRT, together with our partners, remain dedicated in our commitment to ensuring the very highest of standards of investigation are maintained in solving such crimes and seeking justice for victims and those surviving family members who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

"Our neighbourhoods need to be assured that Thames Valley Police examine all such unsolved crimes and this latest case is one of a significant number of cases being developed."

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, Jane Davies, said: "Ronald Cheshire has not shown any remorse for his crime, despite it stretching back many years, but he has now been brought to justice.

"The Crown Prosecution Service will continue to work closely with the Major Crime Review Team and the Forensic Science Laboratory to ensure that those with a criminal past, no matter how far back it stretches, will be brought before the courts. We are determined to ensure that victims receive the justice they deserve."