Man Jailed Over 1988 Reading Rape

11 December 2014, 18:29 | Updated: 11 December 2014, 18:31

Jimmy Dyer

A 54-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for an historic rape in Reading in 1988.

Jimmy Dyer, formally known as Gary Dyer, of St Georges Street, Northampton, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to one count of rape at Reading Crown Court on 15 September.

On 10 October 1988, an 18-year-old woman travelled in a taxi following a night out in Reading with friends.

The taxi driver took a wrong turn so the victim asked to be dropped off, intending to walk the rest of the way home. She was dropped off in St Michaels Road.

As she walked home, Dyer grabbed her from behind and led her into the driveway of a house in Heathfield Avenue, where he raped her in the front garden.

Dyer was arrested on 11 June 2014 and charged on the same day.

The historic offence was investigated by Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Investigation Review Team.

Speaking following the conviction, Principal Investigator Pete Beirne, said: “The events of the evening of 10 October 1988 will never leave the victim. This rape by a stranger had a deep and lasting impact upon a young woman.

“Dyer has a history of carrying out sexual offences and his imprisonment today means he will face justice for this crime.

“While the sentence will not undo the events of that evening 26 years ago, nor will it make the victim forget them, I hope it will provide her with some comfort that the man responsible has finally been arrested and convicted.

“The Major Crime Investigation Review Team was able to use advances in DNA techniques to enable us to identify Dyer as the offender many years after the offence took place.

“We are using these techniques in other historic cases that we are working on and are confident that we will have further successes in the future”

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor of Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “This case involved the rape of a young woman in Reading in October 1988.

“The victim, an 18-year-old woman at the time, was walking home after a night out with friends when Jimmy Dyer, formerly known as Gary Dyer, now aged 54, of St Georges Street, Northampton, grabbed her from behind and raped her in the front garden of a house in Heathfield Avenue.

“The new and compelling evidence gathered by Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Review Team (MCRT) and presented by the CPS was so strong that Gary Dyer recognised that justice had caught up with him and he had little option but to plead guilty to the offence, which he did on 15 September when he appeared at Reading Crown Court. This saved the victim from having to re-live the terrible events of that evening on 10 October 1988, and give evidence.

“This case highlights the commitment of the police and CPS to prosecute cases involving violence against women (VAW). The outcome also demonstrates to people who commit such offences that they are never safe from justice and that our determination to ensure that justice is done remains undimmed, even years after offences are committed.

“This prosecution would not have been possible without the thorough re-investigation of the case by the Thames Valley Police MCRT, scientific developments, and the courage of the victim who was willing to support proceedings.

“Time has not diminished the effect this incident has had on the victim’s life. She has waited 26 long years for today’s result. I hope that today’s sentence will offer some comfort to her after all these years. Our thoughts are very much with her at this time.”