Cold Case breakthrough helps catch rapist

Advances in DNA techniques helped bring Barry Powell to justice almost 25 years after he raped a woman in Manchester

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"Don't suffer in silence", says Howell's victim

What happened that evening has had an enormous and negative impact on not just my life but the lives of others, over the past 24 years.

"I want to move forward with my life and this process has brought me some sense of closure.

"What I would like to say is that if anyone else is in this situation, or has experienced what I have been through, I would encourage them to come forward and report it to the police.

"Times have changed and technology has developed so people do not have to suffer in silence or think that something that happened to them years ago can never be solved. It can.

– Barry Howell's victim

Police "delighted" Howell is now behind bars

After 24 years of living with the terrible memory of being raped, I am absolutely delighted that finally, this brave woman has seen her attacker exposed and brought to justice.

"She suffered a terrifying ordeal at the hands of Howell that evening 24 years ago.

"She was brutally raped at knifepoint and I know it is an experience that left her emotionally scarred and traumatised.

"But she has shown tremendous courage, patience and tenacity and today, finally she can take some comfort knowing Howell has been convicted of this awful crime.

– Detective Constable Michaela Clinch, Greater Manchester Police

The victim, who was 25-years-old at the time, was raped on waste ground off Aspin Lane, Collyhurst, on 22 November 1989.

She was grabbed from behind by a Howell who was armed with a knife.

He held the weapon to her throat and subjected her to a terrifying attack.

An investigation was launched and forensic samples taken, but no arrests were made at the time.

In 2004, Greater Manchester Police's Cold Case Unit reviewed the case as part of Operation Advance, a nationwide review of unsolved rape cases using the latest DNA profiling techniques.


Rapist jailed after 25-year hunt

Barry Howell was convicted of a 1989 rape and jailed for nine years Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A rapist has finally been jailed nearly a quarter of a century after he attacked a young woman at knifepoint in Manchester city centre.

Cold Case detectives caught up with Barry Howell, 56, from Burnage, thanks to advances in forensic technology and DNA profiling.

Howell was found guilty of rape following a trial at Manchester Crown Court and has been jailed for nine years.

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