Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DNA Advances Give Police Clues to Attacker's Identity; DETECTIVES HOPE NEW TECHNIQUES WILL END RAPIST'S 12-YEAR REIGN OF TERROR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DNA Advances Give Police Clues to Attacker's Identity; DETECTIVES HOPE NEW TECHNIQUES WILL END RAPIST'S 12-YEAR REIGN OF TERROR

Article excerpt

Byline: REBECCA MOWLING

A GROUNDBREAKING DNA technique has given police a breakthrough in the hunt for a serial sex attacker who they have been hunting for more than 12 years.

The man is linked to a string of 200 crimes, including more than 30 rapes or assaults on vulnerable elderly women in London and the South-East.

Now a new procedure known as "familial testing" has given detectives their biggest lead in tracing the attacker.

Using DNA recovered from the scene of the assaults, officers have narrowed down his ethnic origin - and believe they are close to finding where he was born.

Detectives say the attacker is a black man originally from the West Indies.

Detective Superintendent Simon Morgan, who is leading the investigation known as Operation Minstead, said: "After 12 years we feel this is a major breakthrough and are confident that the new DNA results should lead us to the suspect or even his relatives.

"We have travelled all over the world comparing DNA samples and databases without success but we believe that the scientific advancements will allow us to discover exactly which island in the West Indies the suspect's ancestors are from and even what town."

He added: " Every offence involves a burglary. His modus operandi is very particular. He targets elderly woman and breaks into their homes late at night and we have had reports of him stalking his potential victims to make sure they are alone."

The assailant has struck in towns across south-east London and Home Counties areas such as Croydon, Warlingham, Forest Hill, East Dulwich and Sidcup since 1992.

He targets the elderly women's homes, usually enters properties through rear windows during the night, wearing a balaclava, and spends time with them before attacking them.

Scotland Yard today revealed he is suspected of 31 rapes or assaults and another 170 robberies or break-ins. …

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