DNA breakthrough sees 1987 Sheffield sex attacker jailed – BBC


Image caption,

Raymond Ellis was jailed for five years at Bristol Crown Court

A sex attacker who subjected a teenage girl to an “horrific” assault has been jailed 35 years on.

Raymond Ellis, now 63, attacked the then 17-year-old girl and tied her legs together, before forcing her to perform a sex act in Sheffield in March 1987.

The victim’s attacker was never traced, but in 2019 a DNA swab was re-examined, leading to Ellis’ arrest in Bristol.

Ellis was jailed at Bristol Crown Court for five years after he admitted a charge of indecent assault.

South Yorkshire Police said on the night of the attack Ellis struck the girl over the head as she walked home along Earl Marshall Road after a night out.

He then dragged her along a nearby alleyway towards Earl Marshall School Fields at the rear of Skinnerthorpe Road where he assaulted her before ordering her to lie face down as he fled.

The force said Ellis was arrested 33 years later after officers used new forensic techniques to gain a DNA match on a leather jacket the victim was wearing.

Ellis, of Estelle Park, Bristol, told police he had suffered memory loss due to a brain injury sustained in 1997 at the hands of salmon poachers.

However, a new DNA swab was obtained and was matched with the older sample, leaving officers “in no doubt that they had found the right man”, the force said.

Dave Stopford, head of the Major Incident Review Team, said: “This was an horrific attack on a 17-year-old girl as she made her way home from a night out.

“The victim has had to live with this for the past 33 years not knowing who her attacker was.

“Ellis was obviously surprised when he was arrested for this offence, having thought that he had evaded being caught.”

Ellis, who pleaded guilty to indecent assault in January, was told he must sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

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