17/03/2012 06:29 GMT

Rapist Robert Edwards Jailed For 1990 Attack

A rapist who attacked a woman 21 years ago has been jailed, police said.

Robert Edwards subjected his victim to a "terrifying ordeal" on September 15 1990, Scotland Yard said.

The man, 48, from Ethelbert Terrace, Margate, Kent, was convicted after cold case detectives reviewed DNA evidence gathered at the time.

He was jailed for eight years at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Police said that his victim, a 50-year-old woman, was walking home from a pub in Penge, south east London, when Edwards grabbed her from behind.

As she pleaded with him to let her go, he told her: "If you scream I will kill you. I have a knife."

He then subjected her to a violent attack behind a skip in the driveway of a house.

Forensic analysis was done at the time but yielded no positive results, police said.

In 2010, when detectives re-examined the evidence, Edwards was identified as the rapist through the DNA database.

He was arrested in November 2010 and subsequently pleaded guilty when he appeared at the Old Bailey in February.

On Friday, Edwards was sentenced to eight years for rape, eight years for buggery and five years for indecent assault, all to run concurrently.

Detective Constable Karen Bradley, of the Sapphire Cold Case Team, said: "Edwards subjected his victim to a terrifying and vicious assault as she returned home from a night out with friends.

"Although the incident was more than 20 years ago, the events of that evening have understandably had a lasting effect on the victim, causing serious emotional turmoil.

"I hope the victim is able to take some solace in the fact that justice has been served on Edwards, who no doubt believed that given the passage of time he would not be held accountable for his actions.

"There is of course a possibility that Edwards may have committed further offences. With that in mind I would encourage any further victims to contact the team on 020 7161 1034."