A mother has spoken of her relief after the man who raped her 25 years ago was finally jailed today.
Principal Investigator Pete Beirne from Thames Valley Police's Major Crime Review Team explains to Nick Harper how they got a conviction 26 years after the attack took place.
A rapist acquitted of a "devastating" sex attack more than 25 years ago was finally jailed today following the discovery of conclusive DNA evidence. Alexander McGuire, 61, escaped justice for a quarter of a century after he was wrongly found innocent when he stood trial.
Joy Smith who was raped by 61 year old Alexander McGuire in Windsor in 1986 gives her reaction to his eight year prison sentence.
– Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor of Thames and Chiltern CPS
We took the exceptional step of making an application to the Court of Appeal to quash the acquittal of McGuire and order a re-trial, and the court agreed.
“The new and compelling evidence gathered by the police and presented by the CPS was so strong that McGuire recognised that justice had caught up with him and he had little option but to plead guilty. This saved the victim from having to give evidence at a re-trial.
“Time has not diminished the effect this incident has had on her life. She has waited 26 long years for today’s result. Our thoughts are very much with her at this time.”
– Det Const Alison Brown, Thames Valley Police
McGuire thought he had got away with his horrendous crime when he was originally acquitted over 25 years ago.
"However, due to the advances in forensic technology and new legislation under Double Jeopardy, Thames Valley Police and the CPS 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 and I am pleased with the sentence handed out to him.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the victim, who was very supportive of the re-investigation."
Alexander McGuire has been given an eight year jail sentence.
Judge Zoe Smith said: "These are matters of which nightmares are made. There are circumstances no more terrifying than this."
McGuire has already served time in jail, having been sentenced in 1980 for three years on two counts of rape and one count of burglary with intent to rape. Then again, in 1988, serving five years for kidnap when he was acquitted of Joy Smith's assault.
Notes in police files from 1980 commented: "this man will undoubtedly come to the notice of police again with respect of sexual offences".