Sailor found guilty of raping woman 26 years after the attack

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A FORMER sailor has been found guilty of a knifepoint rape 26 years after the horrific attack.

Michael Slevin had denied ordering the woman into his car and attacking her as she walked alone in Toronto Place, Gosport.

But he was unable to explain how his DNA was recovered from the victim.

The jury of eight men and four women found the 52-year-old guilty of rape, kidnap, two charges of indecent assault and one other sexual offence after five hours of deliberations.

During the two-week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court the jury heard Slevin was in the navy and living at HMS Sultan at the time of the attack in March 1985.

The victim, a 19-year-old woman, had been watching a film at a friend’s house and was walking home late at night when she was abducted and subjected to her terrifying ordeal.

Giving evidence, she said Slevin had put a knife to her throat and said ‘you will do as you are told’.

‘I thought “oh my god, this is serious”,’ she said.

‘I complied with what he said.’

After Slevin raped her, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, managed to escape from the car while he was doing his trousers up.

She ran to a nearby kebab house in Forton Road and the police were called.

Slevin, now living in Tamar Close, Callington, in Cornwall, was arrested last year after the case was reopened and police used modern DNA profiling analysis.

Dr Jonathan Whitaker, a forensic scientist who specialises in DNA profiling, said a swab taken from the victim contained Slevin’s DNA.

Asked to explain how his DNA got on the woman Slevin told the jury: ‘I have no way of telling you.’

The former marine engineering mechanic (MEM), who was married at the time of the attack, had argued that he did not fit the description of a man with dark hair and no glasses because he had ginger hair and glasses.

Slevin’s younger brother, Martin Slevin, a deputy inspector with West Midlands police, gave evidence during the trial to say Slevin had always had ginger hair in his 20s.

Judge Roger Hetherington remanded Slevin in custody to be sentenced tomorrow.