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  1. ITV Report

DNA reopens 30-year hunt for serial rapist in Australia

Detectives believe the man is now aged between 45 and 64. Credit: New South Wales police

Australian police have appealed for help in capturing one of the country's worst serial rapists after a DNA breakthrough reopened a series of unsolved cases.

Investigators said collective evidence now links the man to at least 27 "blitz attack" rapes during a 16-year spree between 1985 and 2001, targeting women aged between 14 and 55.

Some of the attacks saw him break into his victims' homes and threaten them at knife-point, New South Wales police said, as they released two photo-fit images of the man.

"The vast majority of these crimes were committed very, very quickly, with very little warning to the victim," said Sex Crimes Squad Commander Mick Haddow.

"[They] involved violence. There’s certainly a knife involved in a number of cases, or the threat of a knife in others."

The offender's physique was said to have changed from thin in the 1980s to athletic and muscular by the late 1990s. Credit: New South Wales police

Detectives believe the man, who committed the crimes in the city's eastern suburbs, is now aged between 45 and 64.

They described him as being 160-180cm tall, with a dark complexion, wavy dark hair and brown eyes, and most often dressed in casual clothing.

His physique was said to have changed from thin in the 1980s to athletic and muscular by the late 1990s.

Detective Haddow said the offender protected his identity by keeping his face covered during the assaults.

Police believe his last assault was committed in 2001 but warned people to be "vigilant and look out for each other" as they work to track him down.

"I want him to know that New South Wales Police are doing everything possible to bring him to justice," he said. "We won’t be giving up on trying to find him."