Lancashire

Man admits 1989 rape in Burnley after DNA match

Leslie Marshall
Image caption Leslie Marshall will be sentenced next month

A 51-year-old man from Glasgow has admitted raping a woman in Burnley more than 20 years ago.

The 22-year-old woman was approached on Briercliffe Road in 1989, forced into a car and attacked by two men before being left on a country road.

Leslie Marshall, of Stonefield Road, Blantyre, was arrested by Lancashire Police's cold case team last October after his DNA was linked to the case.

He admitted rape at Burnley Crown Court and will be sentenced on 25 August.

Police said the woman was attacked in the early hours of 18 January as she walked home from a friend's house.

She was driven to a secluded location in the Robin House Lane area of Briercliffe where she sexually assaulted by two men, and then dumped on a road in the dark.

She managed to run to a nearby house and raise the alarm.

'Dangerous individual'

Marshall's DNA was taken when he was arrested for another offence, but when it was loaded onto the national database it matched the 1989 case.

Police said the attack was thoroughly investigated at the time but no offenders were identified.

The DNA profiles obtained in 1989 by the Forensic Science Service remained undetected and the case was closed.

It was reopened in 2008, when forensic scientists managed to take the DNA samples from 1989 which were not compatible with the National DNA Database and re-analyse them.

A male profile was obtained and loaded to the database and was subsequently matched to Marshall.

Det Con Lisa Baxter, from the Cold Case Investigation Team, said: "I am extremely pleased with today's result, not only for the investigation team, but, more importantly, for the victim in this case.

"It has been an extremely traumatic time for her, however she was determined her attacker should face justice and was fully supportive of the police investigation."

She added: "Leslie Marshall is clearly a dangerous individual and the public needs to be protected from him.

"This case should send a clear warning to offenders, despite the passage of time we never give up hope of bringing offenders to justice - we constantly review older cases and we will catch up with you and you will be brought before the courts for punishment."

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