South West Wales

Ronald Toms faces jail for 1987 Ammanford sex attack

A man who sexually assaulted an 84-year-old widow in a "terrifying" attack in her own home 24 years ago has been told he will be jailed.

Ronald Toms, now 51, of Ammanford, was caught only last year after his DNA and fingerprints were taken when he was arrested for a public order offence.

He has admitted attempted rape and another charge at Swansea Crown Court.

When police went to his house to arrest him in March he said: "I've been waiting for you to come for 20 years."

The court heard that on the evening of 11 July 1987 Toms broke into the woman's home in Ammanford through a kitchen window.

Following the attack she told police she felt someone throw something over her face and then jump on her.

Prosecutor Mark Spackman said: "She pleaded with the man to get off her and told him she had a heart complaint."

He demanded to know where she kept her money as he sexually assaulted her.

Among her injuries were two black eyes and bruising to her arms where Toms had held her down. She spent two weeks in hospital following the attack.

In a statement read out in court her son said it had left his mother "withdrawn and reclusive" and her social life ceased.

Gave an alibi

He said she was never able to sleep in her own bed again and would spend each night on a makeshift bed in her living room afraid her attacker would return. She died in 1995.

Toms, who had lived about 150 yards from the pensioner, was questioned about his movements as part of house-to-house inquiries but gave an alibi, the court heard.

He was arrested late last year for a public order offence and his DNA taken.

Mr Spackman said fluid had been left on a bed sheet by the attacker in 1987 but it was not sufficient for a full DNA profile.

Advances in technology had made that possible in 2004 and the result was placed on the National Police Database.

Following Toms's arrest last year a match was made and his fingerprints also matched those found by the kitchen window.

In mitigation, James Jenkins said Toms had not committed any offences before or since the attack.

He said: "The defendant can't explain why he did this."

His wife, brother and employer all submitted references on his behalf.

Mr Jenkins said Toms was genuinely remorseful and added: "He knows he will face a substantive prison sentence."

Judge Keith Thomas said he would rule how long Toms would spend in jail when the sentencing hearing resumed on Friday.

Toms was remanded in custody.

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