DNA evidence traps Essex University sex attacker

A 22-year-old man from Essex has been convicted of a sex attack at Essex University after he was identified using the national DNA database.

Lawrence Button, of Littlebury Gardens, Colchester, was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of sexual assault in December, 2009.

Button was then arrested for a domestic common assault in May 2010.

His DNA was taken and was found to match DNA evidence taken from the sex assault victim.

Button, a former carer, was released on court bail but placed on night curfew prior to sentencing at the same court on 16 December.

'Dangerous offender'

The court heard the former student at the University of Essex was assaulted in woodland off Boundary Road, Wivenhoe.

The then 22-year-old victim, who has since graduated, had been walking along a path when she was attacked.

She was then sexually assaulted, before her assailant ran off.

Det Con Dave Glasgow said: "Lawrence Button is a dangerous offender who has brought long-term distress and anguish to his victim and her family.

"For the university and its students, he brought concern and fear.

"I would like to express my admiration for the victim who has remained strong since her ordeal and agreed to give evidence in court."

In a statement, the now 24-year-old victim said: "I am extremely pleased to learn of the guilty verdict of this dangerous man who has caused me a great deal of stress and worry over the last two years.

"I dread to think what position we would all be in today had it not been for the database."

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