Beds, Herts & Bucks

Man jailed over attempted rape of woman aged 92

Cyril Hewitt arrives at court
Image caption Odd job man Cyril Hewitt has a previous conviction for a sexual offence in 1946

An 81-year-old man from Bedfordshire who admitted attempting to rape a 92-year-old woman in her home in 2000 has been jailed for five-and-a-half-years.

Cyril Hewitt, of Hawthorn Way, Silsoe, was 70 when he attacked the woman - who died in November 2005.

Odd job man Hewitt had a previous conviction for a sexual offence in 1946, Luton Crown Court heard.

He was identified after DNA was re-examined in a cold case review.

The attack happened at the woman's flat in Ampthill, Bedfordshire on 7 January, 2000.

DNA sample

Prosecutor Camilla De Silva said Hewitt's estranged wife knew his victim did jobs for her.

During the attempted rape Hewitt left DNA at the scene.

His victim was unable to identify her attacker and Hewitt was not asked for a DNA sample at the time.

But there was a suspicion that the attacker knew the lay out of the flat.

It was this that led to him being asked to give a sample for analysis in 2009.

Christopher Strachan, defending said: "This is not an easy case to sentence. He is in poor health, he has a heart condition and poor eyesight and old age itself can be a mitigating factor.

"He probably does not have many years left."

Hewitt, who had a conviction for a previous sexual offence in 1946, must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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