A rapist described as ‘one of the most dangerous sexual predators in the UK’ has been jailed for life.
Ian Harper, 57, violently raped a mother in her 30s after breaking into her home and holding a screwdriver to her throat in Peterborough, 1985.
The rape in July 16 1985 only came to light after detectives last year reopened the case following advances in forensic DNA profiling.
Harper admitted rape, burglary and indecent assault at Peterborough Crown Court while serving another jail sentence for a series of rape and burglaries in 1994 in Herts.
The court heard the mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked while waiting for her children to return from school.
He raped her and demanded money after breaking into her home wearing a balaclava and held the tip of a screwdriver to her throat.
Detective Inspector Alan Page said: ‘Ian Harper is an evil man.
‘He is one of the most dangerous sexual predators in the UK and to secure a further prison term against him will mean our communities are protected from him committing further offences.’
Harper, who is also known as Ian Harrison, was charged with rape as part of Operation Painter.
It was set up last year to review unsolved sexual offences in Bedforsdhire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire between 1974 and 1999.
He was given a life sentence for rape and 12 months to run concurrently for burglary and indecent assault after his DNA matched a profile held in the National Forensic Archive in January.
DI Page added: ‘The attack on this victim was horrendous and has had an unimaginable impact on her and her family.
‘I hope the sentence given to him will be of some small comfort to them 32 years on.
‘I would like to pay tribute to the victim and her family for the bravery they have shown in engaging with the investigation, so many years after the offence occurred.
‘This investigation shows we will continue to strive to bring offenders to justice no matter how long ago the offence occurred.
‘Through advancements in DNA we’ve been able to review these cases and use advances in forensic science to bring offenders to justice.’
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Lay said: ‘A phenomenal amount of work has been undertaken in the last twelve months under Operation Painter and Ian Harper is the first offender to be charged and sentenced under the Operation.
‘Understandably investigating historical sexual offences can bring many challenges including the difficulty around continuity of exhibits and tracing witnesses however, to secure a sentence against an evil predator such as this proves how important this work can be to bring closure for victims and ensure offenders are brought to justice’