Beds, Herts & Bucks

Shortstown rape trial: DNA match in 1995 assault of boy

Cardington hangars Image copyright Geograph/Peter Evans
Image caption The court heard the attacker claim his car needed bump-starting and it was at Cardington - a five-minute walk from the bus stop in Shortstown

A man was charged with raping a 15-year-old boy in 1995 after a DNA match was found last year, a trial heard.

The victim said he was asked to help a man bump-start his car and was attacked after he agreed to go with him.

James Devlin, 55, denies the offence, which is alleged to have taken place at Shortstown near Bedford.

The boy, who cannot be named, managed to get to a friend's house after the alleged attack and the incident was reported to police at the time.

Luton Crown Court heard the teenager had been dropped at a bus stop after school on Monday, 16 October, 1995.

The boy's statement, read out by prosecution counsel David Matthew, said a man had walked up to him from the direction of the Cardington hangars, huge structures which were used to house airships.

The man asked him if he had the time, to which he replied "no".

"He asked me to help him with his car," the statement continued.

"I said I would and he said it was five minutes down the road at Cardington and he would bring me back."


The court heard the teenager told police they walked across a field and along the road when he was pulled into bushes and raped.

After the alleged attack, the man told him not to tell anyone and he left.

The teenager flagged down a car and an elderly couple took him to the friend's house.

A statement from the friend's mother said: "I found him crying outside the door. I recall he was dishevelled. He tried to speak but he could not get his words out."

The court heard that Mr Devlin, of no fixed address, answered "no comment" when interviewed by police.

The trial continues.

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