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Rapist convicted after 32 years

Donovan Vernon was convicted of a rape he committed when he was 18 Credit: Nothamptonshire Police

A jury's convicted a man of a violent rape he carried out in Northampton nearly 32 years ago.

Donovan Vernon, aged 50, was found unanimously guilty of rape and aggravated burglary.

Northampton Crown Court heard how he'd broken into the Eastfield home of his 68-year-old victim wearing a ski mask at about 3am on October 11th 1986.

Vernon stole a small quantity of cash from the bedroom of his victim before raping her at knifepoint.

She never fully recovered from the psychological trauma of the attack and died a few years later.

A cold case team reopened the case in 2016 and used modern DNA-matching techniques to solve the case.

Vernon, who is currently serving an 18-year sentence for armed robbery, was charged in 2017 with the rape he committed in Northampton as an 18-year-old.

Speaking after the verdict, DS Julie Gallagher, of the Force’s Cold Case team, said she was delighted by today’s verdict, adding: “This was an exceptionally challenging case, not least because the victim has sadly died.

“I hope that this verdict will bring the family some comfort, knowing that the man who committed this crime has finally been brought to justice."

– DS Julie Gallagher, Northants Police Cold Case Team

Judge Adrienne Lucking adjourned sentencing until August in order for pre-sentence reports to be compiled.

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Passengers told to expect bank holiday rail disruption

Bank holiday rail disruption Credit: PA Images

Rail passengers are being encouraged to check their route before they travel this bank holiday (May 26-28).

Network Rail will be carrying out engineering works. It means train time times will be altered and some journeys are expected to be longer.

Replacement buses will run between Ipswich and Felixstowe and some lines into Liverpool Street will be closed.

For the latest changes check the Greater Anglia website.

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