Search

Sex attacker is nailed by DNA

PUBLISHED: 12:11 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:15 25 August 2010

A VIOLENT rapist who broke into two homes subjecting his victims to terrifying rape ordeals has been jailed after 20 years due to a DNA breakthrough. Stephen Johnstone, 50, from Montrose, Scotland was convicted of raping a Bexleyheath pensioner in 1989 a

A VIOLENT rapist who broke into two homes subjecting his victims to terrifying rape ordeals has been jailed after 20 years due to a DNA breakthrough.

Stephen Johnstone, 50, from Montrose, Scotland was convicted of raping a Bexleyheath pensioner in 1989 and another victim from Hertfordshire due to advances in DNA technology linking him to the crimes.

He was caught by a Metropolitan Police Cold Case Team who were able to link Johnstone's old DNA taken from the rape victims with a sample he gave more recently after drink-driving.

Convicted burglar Johnstone first struck in Bexleyheath, when his victim was a 62-year-old widow.

Southwark Crown Court heard that he broke into the pensioner's home while she was asleep, raped her then stole a wedding ring that had belonged to her late husband.

Weeks later, on October 23, 1989, Johnstone forced his way into the home of a 25-year-old in Barnet, Hertfordshire, beating the woman unconscious before raping her.

He then stole jewellery and cash before leaving the property.

On Monday he was sentenced to nine years in prison for rape, four years for burglary and three years for ABH, to run concurrently with all other charges.

An investigation was launched immediately after the first offence and DNA samples taken from the scenes showed a link between both crimes. Despite a public appeal and e-fits provided by the victims, no suspect was identified.

The trail went cold until, in 2008, a review by the Cold Case Team prompted the Forensic Science Service to examine DNA samples using new techniques.

One from the first crime scene matched a sample on the national DNA database, given by Johnstone when he was arrested for drink driving, while a further one taken after the second offence also showed a match.

On April 21 this year, he was arrested at his home in Montrose and taken to London for interview.

Johnstone denied committing the offences initially but was charged and appeared in court the next day.

On August 17, he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, plus one each of robbery, burglary and ABH.

Detective Constable Jenny Thrower of the MPS Cold Case Team said: "Johnstone's offences were particularly brutal leaving both victims badly traumatised and suffering significant after-effects even until today.

"It is right that he should be held to account for his crimes and that a clear menace to society should be taken from our streets.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bexley Times