‘Early Bird Rapist’ sentenced
Today (Monday 3 September) Christopher Clark has been sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court for the rape of a young woman in 1985. The CPS was able to secure the conviction thanks to advances in DNA technology.
Judith Reed, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor said:
“Essex Police provided a file of evidence to the CPS concerning an attack which took place over twenty years ago. This was following a cold case review by the Essex Police Cold Case Investigation Team.
“We reviewed the file in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and decided there was sufficient evidence to secure a conviction and it was in the public interest to do so.
“Clark has a prolific history of sexual offending and he consistently targeted and attacked young females in the early hours of the morning, as such he became known as the Early Bird Rapist.
“In September 1985 he stalked a young victim over a number of days before taking her into a small farm yard area and using a knife combined with verbal threats forcibly raped her.
“At the time attempts to extract a full DNA profile of the attacker were unsuccessful and the crime remained unsolved. Forensic science has since progressed and following the introduction of a new process known as DNA 17 the police were now able to provide us with the vital evidence required.
“The trauma of this attack has remained with the victim throughout her life and it is largely due to her continued courage and bravery that we have been able to bring this rapist to justice. I would like to thank her for her support throughout this prosecution and I hope she finds a sense of justice now that her rapist has been sentenced.
“We are committed to prosecuting sexual offences regardless of when they took place and we will work closely with the police to ensure we build strong cases to bring the perpetrators of such horrific offending to justice.”
Notes to editors
· Judith Reed is a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor in the CPS East of England area