Cold case detectives vow to solve historic sex crimes

Home UK News Cold case detectives vow to solve historic sex crimes
Cold case detectives vow to solve historic sex crimes

Advances in forensic science have put the police in a much stronger position to make arrests and progress cases.

DNA evidence kept from the original police investigations is outsourced to Eurofins Forensic Services in Staffordshire for analysis.

In Karen’s case, the forensic scientists took another look at the swabs taken after she was raped. They had been kept along with a thin wedge of case notes from the original investigation and an e-fit she had helped create at the time.

The scientists used modern techniques to find traces of sperm that had been missed during the initial investigation. This made it possible to establish a full DNA profile, which was then loaded on to the National DNA Database.

The database, which was created in 1995, holds the DNA records of people who have been cautioned by police or convicted of a crime in England and Wales.

The profile generated a single match against Zahid Majeed, a taxi driver in his 50s, from Luton.

His name was on the DNA database because he had been arrested for another offence in the past.

“It was the DNA evidence put to him [in his police interview] which made him accept that this wasn’t going away,” says Det Con Hayley Dyas, who worked on Karen’s case.

He was charged in 2020 and the following year, after a three-day trial, Majeed was sentenced to 13 years in prison for rape and three for kidnap.

When the judge sentenced her attacker, “it was very difficult to hold the tears back”, says Karen.

“The look he gave me when he was sentenced was absolute disgust, and that’s what reminded me that he could still be quite dangerous.”

Det Con Dyas says her favourite part of being a police officer is working on cold cases like Karen’s.

“Success is standing in front of a victim and saying, ‘we’ve done it, you’ve got through this and not only have we always believed you but now 12 jurors have believed you too,'” she says.

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