Rugby man jailed after raping woman in 1980s

Ronald Dickens. Photo by Warwickshire Police
Ronald Dickens. Photo by Warwickshire Police
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A Rugby man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after raping a woman in the 1980s.

Ronald Dickens, 47, of Phipps Avenue pleaded guilty to the offence in Coventry Crown Court yesterday (Monday November 28) and has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

The offence took place when the victim, who was in her twenties at the time, was walking home along Newbold Road in the early hours of Sunday November 24 in 1985.

Dickens followed the victim, dragged her into Hunters Lane and subjected her to a brutal and violent rape.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson, said: “Ronald Dickens subjected the victim to a horrific attack which has altered the course of her life.

“This incident completely changed her life and she has been looking over her shoulder for the past 30 years not knowing who assaulted her.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victim for the courage she showed in coming forward to police and thank her for the support throughout the investigation which has undoubtedly been an incredibly traumatic process.”

The conviction comes as a result of Operation Scenic which is a major review of non-recent sexual assaults where offenders were not identified.

Advancements in DNA technology has allowed Warwickshire Police to reinvestigate offences which have remained undetected until now.

Detective Sergeant Paul Thompson said: “Operation Scenic has allowed us to identify further forensic opportunities and utilise innovative technologies and techniques which were not available at the time of the offences.

“I would like to thank the Major Crime Review Team, who identified Dickens with the assistance of our forensic providers, the Major Investigation Unit and the forensic scientists for their hard work in relation to this investigation.

“I hope the conclusion of this case gives the victim some closure and allows her to move on from this awful experience.”

Anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to come forward to police to make a report.

Anyone who does so will be fully supported throughout the investigation by Specially Trained Officers (STOs) in a caring and sensitive manner.

If you choose not to come forward to police you can also contact the Blue Sky Sexual Assault Referral Centre located at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.

The centre provides access to emergency medical treatment, emotional support and referrals to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA) for anyone from Coventry or Warwickshire who has been raped or sexually assaulted.

You can contact them on 02476 865 505 or visit their website www.blueskycentre.org.uk.