Leeds serial rapist brought to justice thanks to advances in forensic science

Raymond Manners.
Raymond Manners.

A serial rapist who attacked a woman in her own bed after breaking into her home has been brought to justice after 26 years.

Raymond Manners was finally caught thanks to scientific advances which placed him at the scene.

Manners, 56, climbed through a window of the victim’s home in the Chapeltown area of Leeds on November 23, 1991, as she was asleep in bed.

The 25-year-old victim was subjected to the sex attack before Manners left the property.

Forensic evidence was recovered after the attack but it was not possible to link it to a suspect.

Manners was arrested in 2012 when West Yorkshire Police carried out a cold case review which linked him to sex attacks on two woman in similar circumstances at properties in Leeds in 1979.

Manners, who worked for Network Rail for 33 years, was jailed for ten years in 2012 after pleading to two offences of rape.

He was not charged at the with the 1991 offence at the time as he continued to deny his involvement.

Leeds Crown Court heard today that police reviewed the case again last year and were able to establish that DNA recovered from the 1991 was Manners’s.

Sophie Drake, prosecuting, said the possibility of the DNA belonging to anyone else was a billion to one.

Manners, formerly of Stoney Rock Lane, Burmantofts, pleaded guilty to rape.

He was given a further 12-years in prison, to be added to the sentence he is currently serving.

Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “This case represents the ultimate nightmare for any woman asleep in her own home at night.

“To be burgled and subjected to the indignity of a violent sexual offence is to become the victim of a pitiless, wicked crime.

“You have ruined your victim’s life, and although now you have pleaded guilty, you had the opportunity of admitting the offence when interviewed about it in 2012.

“You must now take the consequences.”

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Dunkerley who leads the Operation Recall team, said:

“This is a fantastic result. It has brought justice and hopefully some closure for the victim and sent a message to any criminals still out there who think the passage of time has meant they have gotten away with what they did.

“I want them to be dreading that knock on the door and to always be looking over their shoulder for the police to come.

“We never close a case until it is solved. The passage of time only increases our determination to crack a case and advances in forensic evidence and technology are helping us to achieve results.

“There is an incredibly hard working team who are combining good ‘old fashioned detective work’ with fantastic scientific breakthroughs to bring criminals to justice and to send them to prison where they belong.

“I would like to praise their work in bringing Manners to justice and the work of our partners in the LGC Forensic Science Service who gave invaluable support to the investigation.

“Manners may have thought that as he was already in prison for two other offences that we would just forget about what he did. We didn’t and now he faces even more time inside to consider the terrible ordeal he subjected his victim to.”