Jailed: rapist who stalked 17-year-old victim as she walked alone at night
A RAPIST who was traced by a familial DNA link has been jailed.
Darren Hill followed a 17-year-old girl as she walked to her foster home, then grabbed her, threatened to kill her and raped her.
Now Hill, aged 29, of Padbury Way, Breightmet, has been jailed for six years and nine months after he pleaded guilty to rape at Bolton Crown Court.
The attack happened in the early hours of October 8, 2012, when the victim, a 17-year-old girl who was in care, decided to walk to her previous foster home in Bury.
She was reported missing by her carers.
As she reached Bury and Bolton Road between Breightmet and Ainsworth, she noticed a man walking behind her.
He overtook her then turned left and out of sight.
She remembered feeling relieved that the man was no longer around, but then noticed him behind her again.
He walked past her once more and disappeared again, but as the girl passed the entrance to a lane, she was faced by the man, who grabbed her.
He pulled her into the lane, where he threatened to kill her, then raped her.
The attack was disturbed by passersby who asked if everything was okay. The rapist said everything was fine.
The pair then separated and the distressed girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was later found by a man who called the police.
Det Insp Simon Davies said: "This girl was going through a number of personal issues at the time and perhaps this is why she was initially reluctant to engage with police officers.
"Thankfully, our specialist units have dedicated officers who have been given a high-level of training to speak to victims in the most challenging of circumstances.
"The excellent support and perseverance of the officers helped this victim come to the courageous decision to give us her help."
As a result of forensic tests, a DNA profile of the rapist was obtained, but there were no matches stored on the national DNA database.
However, further forensic work and a familial DNA search led to a link to Darren Hill.
A DNA sample taken from him was an exact match with that of the rapist.
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Det Insp Davies said: "Over the last ten years in particular, advances in forensic technology have had a huge impact on the ability of the police to investigate rapes, and I hope this case encourages victims of sexual offences that they should always talk to us.
"This has been an outstanding example of determined and sophisticated police work, but Hill would not have been behind bars were it not for the courage of the victim, to whom we pay tribute.
"This predatory sex offender is now rightly where he belongs - behind bars."