Man jailed for rape after 20 years - Stotfold

07/02/2013

A man who pleaded guilty to a rape twenty years after it happened has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

Daniel Borgers, 41, of Napier Crescent, Scarborough, raped the woman in an alleyway in Stotfold in 1992, but thanks to a combination of persistent detective work and DNA evidence he admitted the offence at a hearing in January.

He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 01 February 2013, and today, Thursday, 07 February 2013, reporting restrictions that had prevented him from being identified were lifted.

At the time, no-one was charged with the offence and it remained a mystery; albeit one detectives were determined to solve.

The case had been repeatedly reviewed over the intervening years in an effort to find the attacker, most recently two years ago when it was picked up again by the Cold Case Team at the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit (MCU).

The rape happened in October 1992 when a woman was on her way home from a relative's house, walking along the footpath between Arlesey Road and The Mixies one evening.

She had been to church and then went back to the relative's house for a cup of tea before making her way home on foot. In the alleyway, the woman who was then in her 40s, was grabbed from behind and forced to the floor. The man, completely unknown to her, raped her and then ran off after threatening to slit her throat.

A sample of semen was found at the time and stored until eventually science moved on sufficiently for there to be a full DNA profile extracted from this during one of the reviews held a few years ago.

However, the profile did not match any existing person on the nationwide DNA database until August last year, when Bedfordshire Police received a call to say a match had been found with a man who had just been arrested by North Yorkshire Police. Borgers, now living in Scarborough, had been arrested for a minor drugs offence and the routine DNA sample taken as he came into custody had been matched with the unknown Stotfold rapist's sample on the database.

Borgers was arrested a few days later and brought to Bedfordshire for questioning, ultimately being charged with the offence two days later.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the rape of a woman in her 40s in an alleyway in Stotfold in 1992, over 20 years ago.

"The guilty verdict in January concluded a detailed investigation by Bedfordshire Police.  We have worked closely with them since this investigation was re-launched, and it is extremely pleasing that they were able to identify the offender for this terrible crime due to forensic science advances.

"The guilty plea of Borgers reflected the strength of the prosecution case against him, and meant that the victim did not have to endure the ordeal of giving evidence in court.

"The CPS takes all allegations of rape and sexual offences seriously and has specialist rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO) prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offences cases.  We work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support during the court process.  Cases of rape and other serious sexual offences are among the most difficult cases that we deal with and need to be dealt with very sensitively.  We will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

"This case highlights to the public that both the police and the CPS are committed to detecting unsolved cases and that victims should never give up hope.  We work tirelessly to review cold cases and wherever possible bring those responsible to justice.

"This also sends a very clear message to anyone who thinks that they have escaped justice for similar offences that our determination to ensure that justice is done remains undimmed, even years after offences are committed.  They are never safe from justice and with every advance in science; it is only a matter of time before they too are arrested.

"I hope that the conviction and sentence gives some sense of justice to the victim, so she can now put this unpleasant episode behind her and move on with her life with the knowledge that the person who subjected her to this terrible ordeal has been brought to justice.  Our thoughts are very much with her at this time."

"This rape had a profound effect on the woman who was subjected to it," said Detective Inspector Liz Mead of the MCU. "She lived, worked and went to church all within a few hundred yards of where she was attacked. For twenty years, she had to carry to the weight of not knowing who had attacked her and all the time wondering if he was still somewhere near her. At the time this happened she was in her 40s and this has had an extremely detrimental effect upon her personal life.

"Despite this, this courageous lady has remained strong and has been very supportive of the police investigation throughout. It has meant a lot to her and her family, and to the investigation team to be able to close this case at last.

"This case is one of a number that over recent years has been solved with the help of improvements in forensic science. We've been able to conclude some cases going back 25 or 30 years and I hope it gives encouragement to victims of crimes past and present. It's also a reminder to those criminals we've not yet found that we never give up looking."