RAPIST Robert Gordon is a man with a violent past who has committed more than 50 other offences.
As well as carrying out the July 1981 rape in Basingstoke’s War Memorial Park, Gordon has previously served four years for the rape of a 14-year-old schoolgirl in 1982, just three years after he married his wife Michele, who is standing by him.
Gordon, of Gainsborough Road, Black Dam, Basingstoke, was convicted by a jury of rape, indecent assault and making threats to kill, relating to the July 1981 attack, following a trial in December.
During the six-day trial at Winchester Crown Court, jurors heard that a partial DNA profile, pieced together from samples collected from the victim at the time, produced only one match on the national DNA database – Gordon, who often walked in the park where the attack took place.
Jailing Gordon, below, for nine years, judge Mr Justice Hamblen described the attack as “terrifying” for the victim and said the traumatic ordeal has had a “lasting effect” on her life.
The victim, then in her 30s, had been walking her two dogs through the park when she was approached by Gordon, who asked her for directions before kicking her legs from under her, forcing her to the ground, punching her and banging her head on the ground.
He raped her at knifepoint, ignoring her pleas and cries for help and telling her he would kill her if she did not keep quiet.
Gordon pressed the knife to his victim’s chest so hard that she still bears a scar from the attack.
A jury took four hours over two days to find Gordon guilty. After delivering their verdicts, they heard that Gordon has a long list of previous offences – 13 convictions for 55 offences, including burglary, theft, assault and actual bodily harm prior to 1981.
He was convicted of harassment in 2008 against his wife’s best friend and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. He was convicted of harassment against the same woman in 2010 and was handed a suspended sentence.
Defending Gordon, Nick Wayne said that aside from these offences, his client had “turned his life around” since the rape, and told the judge a significant sentence would have a devastating effect on Gordon’s wife and children.
Judge Hamblen sentenced Gordon to nine years for the rape, with a 12-month sentence for the indecent assault and three years for the threats to kill, to run concurrently with the nine-year sentence.
Gordon showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
See today's Gazette for an exclusive interview with the victim of the 1981 rape.