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Swanley man jailed for cold case rape of 14-year-old

PUBLISHED: 13:01 15 October 2012

Oliver Bernard

Oliver Bernard

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A Swanley man has been jailed for the rape of a 14-year-old schoolgirl 16 years ago.

Oliver Bernard, 47, of Lullingstone Avenue, was sentenced to 8 years on Friday (12) at the Old Bailey after the case was re-opened in 2010 by the Met Police’s Cold Case Sapphire Unit.

On the evening of January 25, 1996, the victim was approached by Bernard while walking along a road in Lambeth.

He started to chat with her but she became wary and attempted to leave, but he put his hand over her mouth and placed a knife to her throat, threatening to cut her if she screamed.

He then dragged her into a nearby garage area and raped her.

Despite inquiries by police no suspect was identified at the time.

Fourteen years later the case was re-opened and a submission of the original samples resulted in a hit on the database for Bernard, who had previously been arrested.

The victim, now in her 30s, was approached by police.

Bernard was arrested on March 12, 2012 and pleaded guilty to his offences.

DC Andy Beete, cold case team, said: “Bernard was a particular callous individual who subjected his young victim to the most awful of ordeals. It is highly likely Bernard has committed further sexual offences and I am releasing his image today in the hope anyone who recognises him as a suspect contacts us.”

Contact the Sapphire Cold Case Team on 0207 161 1034 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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