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Darlington rape victim sees justice served after 25 years
8:00am Saturday 28th April 2012 in News
A WOMAN who was raped more than 25 years ago saw her attacker jailed for eight years yesterday, and said she hopes her case will help other victims.
Joy Smith, from Darlington, waived her right to anonymity after the jailing of Alexander McGuire, 61, at Reading Crown Court.
He escaped justice for a quarter of a century after he was wrongly found innocent when he stood trial.
However, forensic evidence was re-examined using new techniques and revealed a DNA profile that matched McGuire’s.
He pleaded guilty to the 1986 rape in March after detectives concluded the likelihood they had got the wrong man was one in a billion.
The court heard that he targeted the married mother-ofthree while she was at work at a branch of McDonald’s in Windsor, Berkshire, in November 1986.
Mrs Smith was on a late shift and went down to the restaurant’s lower area at about 9pm to use the toilet.
As she emerged from the cubicle, she was confronted by McGuire, who told her he had a knife and raped her.
He was arrested some months after the attack, but found not guilty on the orders of the judge. The verdict came despite evidence from his victim, then 29, who picked him out in an identity parade.
Years later, her ordeal was reinvestigated by Thames Valley Polices major crime review squad.
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‘NO STIGMA’: Joy Smith and her husband, Colin, outside court Picture: KATIE HODGE analysis that were not available to the original investigation team, they were able to pin the crime on McGuire.
Officers applied to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consent for the case to be reinvestigated.
McGuire was arrested at his home in Greyhound View, Sandy, Bedfordshire, in July last year and the original trial verdict was quashed in December.
Mrs Smith, 53, who attended court for the hearing, wept as McGuire was jailed.
Standing outside court alongside her husband and her eldest son, she said: “It has just been a shadow hanging over me, constantly there when you go out, the fear that something will happen.
“I could not get past it, I could not get on with my life.
It was always there.
“But I felt today like I let go of it, hopefully, and put it behind me as best I can.”
Explaining her decision to waive her right to anonymity, she said: “I want other women to realise being raped is nothing to be ashamed of – they need to come forward.
“I have spent too many years being ashamed but I want people to know there’s no stigma."