Father-of-two jailed for cold case rape

A FATHER-OF-TWO from Colchester has been jailed for six years for the brutal rape of a 34-year-old woman 16 years ago.

Peter Hull was linked to the “cold case” rape last year after he was arrested for an assault on his partner and his DNA was found to match DNA found on the victim.

Forty-year-old Hull, who was 23 at the time of the attack in 1994, had denied indecent assault, attempted buggery, attempted rape and rape on July 2 1994.

Following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court, during which the victim was forced to recall details of the terrifying incident, Hull was found guilty of indecent assault, attempted rape and rape and not guilty of attempted buggery.

Jailing him for six years less 287 days Judge John Devaux said he had attacked a woman who was not known to him as she walked home alone at night.

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He said at the time of the attack the woman had described her attacker to police as speaking politely and not having a particular accent. “That would accord with the way you gave evidence in this trial,” said Judge Devaux.

He said although traces of Hull’s semen were left on the woman no match was found at the time because he didn’t have a criminal record. “The irony in this case is that in early 2009 you committed an assault on your partner which was dealt with by way of a caution and you were required to provide a sample of DNA and a match was found.”

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He said that Hull had told the court that between 1992 and 1995 he had consensual sex with a number of one night stands in Colchester and one of these women must have been the 34-year-old woman, although he had no memory of the encounter.

During the trial the court heard that after asking the woman for directions Hull had forced her into a car park at the rear of an off-licence in East Street, Colchester.

He had then punched her in the face and threatened to kill her if she screamed before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

He had then taken her further into the car park away from street lights and raped her after ripping off her underwear.

At the end of the attack Hull told the woman “You’ve got five minutes” and she had thought she had only got five minutes to live.

However, Hull had zipped up his flies and walked off and the woman had lay on the ground not daring to move before eventually getting up and dialling 999 from a phone box.

Martin Hicks QC, for Hull, said apart from the common assault on his partner last year for which he received a caution his client had not committed any other offences and did not represent a danger to the public.

He described the rape as out of character and said it was a “moment of mental aberration”. He said Hull was a markedly different person now to the man he was in 1994 and had been in a settled relationship for eight years and had two children.

After the case Det Ch Insp Godfrey O’Toole said: “Despite the passage of time, we are pleased that Peter Hull has finally had to face up to his appalling crime 16 years ago. His victim has had to relive the events of that evening and it has been a very difficult experience for her. We commend her for her bravery in facing her attacker in court and giving evidence.”

“Peter Hull has been sentenced to a significant term of imprisonment and will have time to reflect upon the pain and distress he has caused her.”

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