RAPIST who evaded capture for years is locked up for 2012 attack
Main article content
A NORTHAMPTON man who raped a woman at knifepoint and evaded capture for years until he was arrested following a routine DNA swab is today behind bars.
Martin Twort, formerly of Byfield Road, St James, was yesterday (Thursday, December 16) jailed for 12 years at Northampton Crown Court after being found guilty at a trial in October during which his victim was forced to give evidence.
The 31-year-old had denied the charge, but a jury found him unanimously guilty after less than three hours of deliberation.
A jury was told how the victim, who was then in her mid-40s, had been picked up by a man as she was walking home following a visit to Northampton General Hospital on June 10, 2012.
As she came out of a shop in central Northampton, a man in a car pulled over and asked her if she wanted a lift and, feeling unwell, she accepted.
She was then driven away, eventually arriving at a secluded spot somewhere between Moulton and Pitsford where, after resisting his attempts to kiss her, Twort produced a knife and threatened to kill her before dragging her from the car and violently raping her.
Twort warned his victim she would be killed if she went to the police.
A security guard at Moulton College eventually found the distressed and terrified victim wandering along a road at 2.10am the following day.
She had suffered a number of injuries, including extensive bruising across her body and while statutory DNA swabs were taken on recovered bodily fluids, they provided no matches on the database and the case went unsolved for a further five years.
In July 2017, however, Twort, who now lives in Great Yarmouth, was arrested on an unrelated theft matter.
While that investigation never reached court, a DNA swab was taken as part of the inquiry which matched that of the one taken during the rape investigation of 2012 and Twort was arrested.
In a victim impact statement, the woman described a scar on her forearm caused by the knife used in the attack as a 'constant reminder of what took place in 2012'.
Sentencing him, Judge David Herbert QC said he would serve a minimum of eight years, adding that the offence had a number of aggravating factors including the use of a knife in a sustained attack and significant planning leading up to it.
Speaking after today’s sentencing, DS Julie Gallagher, who led the Northamptonshire Police investigation, said the victim had finally got the justice she deserved.
She said: “This was a sickeningly violent rape and the sentence today reflects the seriousness of Twort’s crime. He now has many years ahead of him to reflect on the brutality of what he did that night and I hope the victim will find some comfort in him being in prison for a significant amount of time.
“Northamptonshire Police’s Cold Case Team worked tremendously hard on this investigation which has successfully led to a dangerous and violent rapist being locked up.”
Det Supt Emma James, head of Crime at Northamptonshire Police, said: “This Force is committed to working relentlessly to combat violence against women and girls and this case should serve as a reminder that we will continue to go after perpetrators no matter how long ago their offending happened.”