Cold Case Detectives: Woman raped 40 years ago wants attacker Roland Long to 'suffer' for ordeal

The victim of a rape attack four decades ago says she hopes the perpetuator will finally be punished

A woman who waited 40 years for the man who raped her to be brought to justice, says she wants him to suffer after what he put her through.

Roland Long, now 67, attacked the woman in August 1980 after approaching her when she was walking home one night in the Roath area of Cardiff.

Long, who was 26 at the time, was eventually found guilty last year after advances in forensic science which linked his DNA to the attack.

As part of ITV1's Cold Case Detectives, which follows the work of South Wales Police on a number of unsolved cases, the series shows how the law finally caught up with Long and how his victim got the justice she deserved.

Despite more than four decades passing since the attack, the woman says she remembers it like it was yesterday.

"I remember every detail. I was scared to go out for the first five years, scared to go out at night. 

"After it happened I was just a nervous wreck you know and I did drink too much, that’s where it lead to. It was just to try and forget. Once you get into start doing things like that, you can’t stop.

"I did go a bit off the rails, I know it’s a long time ago, the hurt's gone and everything, at the time it’s a lot worse, you’re hurting more, but over the years it fades a little bit, still in your head, but you learn to live with it." 

On the summer's evening in August 1980, Long pretended to act as a good samaritan offering to help the woman with a box she was carrying whilst also walking her dog.

But when she said no, he pursued her and pushed her to the ground on Partridge Road and raped her in a “prolonged” attack, which lasted 10 minutes.

It left her petrified and fearing for her life.

Forensic Scientist, explains that a match to a DNA sample was found in the process

The victim has had to live the majority of her life never knowing who raped her. But that was until advances in forensic technology showed a semen stain found on the fibre tape of her skirt.

After painstakingly trying to retrieve that piece of DNA, the police were then able to link it to a sample that was already on the national database.

They discovered it belonged to Roland Long, a man who had already been convicted of a string of sexual assaults.

Now South Wales Police could finally track down the man who had evaded justice for more than 40 years.

Long was eventually tracked down and arrested at his home in Bristol.

The moment Roland Long was finally tracked down by police, 40 years since raping a woman in Cardiff

Detective Jenna Hargraves was one of the officers who worked on the case and brought Long to justice.

"I think he was incredibly shocked. Forty years down the line I don’t think he believed that we were going to come knocking and arrest him for an offence that happened back then.

"I think it’s fantastic, it’s sending out a message to people that it doesn't matter when this crime was committed, don't think that you have got away with it.

"Science and technology changes and the way we investigate our crime is changing all the time, and to be able to get a suspect it’s phenomenal."

When questioned, Long spent much of the time answering "no comment" to whether he raped the woman, which forensics of course confirmed he had.

He initially denied the charge, but later changed his plea to guilty. He was given a 12-year extended sentence for the attack.

For his victim, she says she could not believe the man who inflicted such an atrocious ordeal upon her, is finally behind bars.

"I was absolutely shocked when they told me that they found the man. I felt relieved actually, there's something I never thought would happen, that he would be caught.

"I was just completely shocked. I was just shaken a little bit because of all these different emotions, it just comes back to you as well.

"If he can do it to one person, he can do it again, he just needs to be locked up, they should throw away the key."

To watch the Cold Case Detective series watch for free on ITVX