Rapist admits attacking teenage girl in Cheltenham over 30 years ago

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    man has admitted raping a teenager more than 30 years ago in Cheltenham after being tracked down via a DNA match.

    Paul Shakespeare, 66, grabbed the 18-year-old girl on the afternoon of Sunday 29 April as she was walking her dog along the Honeybourne line – a section of railway converted into a footpath.

    Shakespeare of Scaleby Close in Upperby, Carlisle had armed himself with a sharpened stick with a nail driven through it, and forced the victim into nearby undergrowth where he raped her.

    The sharpened stick used by Paul Shakespeare to threaten the victim (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

    He threatened the victim – who was unknown to him – and told her not to tell anyone before fleeing the scene.

    A full DNA match was recovered at the time but Shakespeare was never traced.

    Despite renewed appeals for information in 2007 and 2008 by Gloucestershire Constabulary, Shakespeare was only tracked down when he was arrested for possession of a knife earlier this year.

    After his DNA matched him to the rape in 1990, he was re-arrested on August 15 and subsequently charged with rape and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

    The investigating officer, Detective Constable Simone Bow,ley said: “Firstly I would like to commend the victim as her bravery and courage has been phenomenal right from the day this horrific crime took place, through to present day.

    “She has had to wait for more than 30 years for Shakespeare to admit his abhorrent crimes.

    “The case has been reopened and reviewed over this time, and she has continued to work with us in the hope that one day he will be caught and brought to justice.”

    Paul Shakespeare had driven a nail through the stick (Gloucester Police/PA)

    DC Bowley continued: “The impact of this crime was felt within the wider community, too, as people were fearful (after) what took place that day.

    “We all had hope that we would be able to identify the man responsible for this, and I am glad that day has finally come.

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