'Dangerous' men snared by South Yorkshire case reviews


A prolific offender who raped a woman in her Sheffield home 29 years ago has been given a twelfth life sentence after a cold case review by South Yorkshire Police.

Andrew Longmire, 54, from Bolton, admitted raping a 26-year-old woman in her Sheffield home in 1981.

The force's decision to review a number of unsolved cases has resulted in a number of successful convictions, placing some of the county's most dangerous men behind bars.

Started in July 2007, the operation was led by the force's Det Sgt Ian Harding.

His team's work was bolstered by bringing back seasoned detectives who had originally worked on the cases.

Image caption,
Andrew Longmire has been convicted of 12 rapes

Det Sgt Harding said their intrinsic knowledge of the cases had been a useful tool, and the successful resolution of many had led to closure for the veteran officers, many of whom had spent years remaining mindful of the "ones that got away".

The detectives worked in conjunction with the Forensic Science Service in Wetherby and the Crown Prosecution Service, with DNA matches forming a central part of the cases.

Det Sgt Harding said some of the offenders had claimed that sex with their victim had been consensual and that the women involved had "thrown themselves" at them.

"They would have you believe that absolute strangers and attractive young women just approach them on the street," he added.

"That could not be further from the truth - these were ladies going about their business and they have been attacked and terrified by total strangers.

Image caption,
Robert Wilson changed his name by deed poll to Joshua The High Priest

"They endured the ordeal with the fear and belief at the time that they were going to be murdered.

"You can't get more terrifying than that."

Longmire was given 11 life sentences in 1988 after he was convicted of 11 rapes. He was given a twelfth life sentence at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting the 1981 rape. He appeared via video link from prison.

The woman's three-year-old daughter was in the house at the time and hid as Longmire carried out the attack, the court heard.

Another recent conviction was that of Joshua the High Priest in 2009.

Priest, of Sunny Bank, Broomhall, who changed his name from Robert Wilson by deed poll, was jailed for 17 years for raping an 18-year-old woman in 1984 and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old in 1985.

Det Sgt Harding said he was "very proud" of his team of officers.

"It has been an exceptionally worthwhile project which has imprisoned a lot of very dangerous men," he said.

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