Guilty of rape after 26 years

A 60-year-old man has pleaded guilty to a 1986 Berkshire rape he had already been acquitted of - after conclusive DNA evidence was discovered.

Alexander McGuire of Greyhound View, Sandy Lane, Bedfordshire, admitted the offence at Reading Crown Court after a re-investigation by Thames Valley Police's major crime review team.

He had stood trial for the rape more than 25 years ago but was acquitted by a jury even though the victim, then 29, had given evidence and picked him out of an identity parade.

Thames Valley Police said on Monday that forensic evidence secured during the medical examination of the victim from 1986 was re-examined using new DNA techniques not available to the original investigation team. This identified a DNA profile which matched McGuire's DNA, with a one-in-a-billion chance it was not his DNA.

The victim was working at the McDonald's restaurant in Thames Street, Windsor on a late shift in November 1986 when she went down to the lower area of the restaurant to go to the toilet.

As she emerged from the cubicle she was confronted by McGuire who pushed her back into the toilet cubicle, told her that he had a knife and raped her.

McGuire was arrested some months later, charged and tried but the jury found him not guilty on the orders of the judge. Due to McGuire having been previously acquitted, the police applied to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consent for the case to be reinvestigated under double jeopardy legislation contained within the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

McGuire was arrested at his home in July 2011 and the original trial verdict was quashed in December 2011, leading to the verdict this week.

Detective Constable Alison Brown said: "McGuire thought he had got away with his horrendous crime when he was originally acquitted over 25 years ago. However, due to the advance in forensic technology and new legislation under double jeopardy, we were able to prosecute him and he has finally been punished for his crime.

"His guilty plea shows he knew the evidence against him was too strong to deny. I hope cases such as this show other offenders that the MCRT (major crime review team) is dedicated to solving unsolved serious crimes and will use every tool available to do so.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the victim who was very supportive of the re-investigation. Although she did not actually have to give her evidence, she was prepared to in order to make sure that McGuire finally received the punishment that he deserved."

McGuire will be sentenced on April 20 at Reading Crown Court.