Coventry & Warwickshire

DNA advances snare rapist Ronald Dickens for 1985 attack

Ronald Dickens Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Ronald Dickens submitted his victim to a brutal and violent attack, police said

A man has been jailed for eight years for the brutal rape of a woman in 1985, thanks to advances in DNA and forensic investigations, police say.

Ronald Dickens, 47, followed a woman in her 20s into Newbold Road in Rugby in November 1985 before dragging her into a lane and raping her.

The incident completely changed her life leaving her wondering for 30 years who assaulted her, police said.

A cold case review using new DNA techniques led to the breakthrough.

Warwickshire Police said its major crime review team identified Dickens, with help from forensic investigators, using techniques not available at the time of the crime.

More updates on this and other stories in Coventry and Warwickshire

Dickens, of Phipps Avenue, Rugby, admitted rape at at Coventry Crown Court on Monday.

Det Sgt Paul Thompson said: "Ronald Dickens subjected the victim to a horrific attack which has altered the course of her life.

"This incident completely changed her life and she has been looking over her shoulder for the past 30 years not knowing who assaulted her.

He also urged anyone else who has been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward to police to report it.

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