Forensic science offers new leads on sex crimes

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HUNDREDS of unsolved serious sex crimes are to be reinvestigated as part of a new cold case review using advances in DNA technology.

Humberside Police is launching Operation Fox Two, which will reopen the files on about 2,000 unsolved crimes stretching back over a decade.

It follows the success of Operation Fox, which led to a number of convictions of serious offenders who thought they had escaped justice but were finally caught thanks to major improvements in forensic science.

Det Supt Christine Wilson, who is leading the operation, said it was expected that up to 200 serious sex attacks would be reinvestigated.

She said: “From the last 10 years there are about two-thousand cases that may not have been prosecuted for a myriad of reasons. We will really only progress those where it’s clear the forensic advancements will progress the case.

“There are maybe only two-hundred that will fit the criteria. Maybe the DNA profile didn’t match so that offender will still be out there somewhere. We try to develop cases as far as we can.”

She said the review would offer fresh hope for victims, adding: “The technology we have got now offers us a fantastic opportunity because we know many offenders go on to commit similar crimes and different crimes; we do know there are a significant amount of people who commit more than one offence.

“I think it is only a matter of time before we catch these offenders.”

Operation Fox helped convict people responsible for some horrific crimes.

In February last year, a paedophile who tried to escape justice by wearing plastic bags on his hands when he kidnapped and indecently assaulted a nine-year-old girl more than 30 years ago was jailed after he was finally caught as a result of DNA evidence.

His victim described David Littlewood as a “monster” after seeing him jailed for 10 years at Hull Crown Court.

The same month a financial adviser was jailed for raping an elderly widow in her home in Cottingham more than 25 years ago – but his victim did not live long enough to see him brought to justice.

A DNA sample taken from Kevin Moloney when he was arrested for growing cannabis in 2009 was matched with evidence from the 1985 attack.