A DANGEROUS man who robbed an elderly woman of her possessions and her independence when he raped her more than 40 years ago has been jailed for 15 years.

Kenny Wells and another man broke into the home of Violet Brown, in Collingbourne Ducis, on November 6, 1980.

Wells, 63, subjected Ms Brown to a “violent rape” before telling her to remain in her bed and locking her inside.

Wells, of Verona Road, Salisbury, appeared at Winchester Crown Court today (Monday October 4) where he was handed a 15-year prison sentence and an extended license period of six years. He previously pleaded guilty to burglary, rape and false imprisonment.

The court was told that the men asked Ms Brown for money and threatened her.

In sentencing Wells, the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Angela Morris said: “This 71-year-old lady lived on her pension at the time and precious little else and this court cannot imagine how terrified she must have been at that stage.

“You searched her bed whilst she was still in it during which she was threatened that if she tried to escape you would be ‘put the gun to her’.

“During the course of the search, you told her you were going to rape her and how you were going to do that, which must have been the most terrifying moment for her.

“You put your hands around her throat, but you did not strangle her. You were then as good as your word and you proceeded to rape this elderly, vulnerable, frail (woman) in most terrifying circumstances whilst your partner in crime stood and watched.

“This is a case of the abject humiliation, threats and violation towards a vulnerable and helpless elderly lady who was left utterly traumatised and psychically injured by this appalling experience at your hands.”

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Ms Brown eventually managed to make her way downstairs but was unable to get help due to the fact that the phone lines had been cut and the front door locked, so she sat in a chair and waited until morning.

At around 8.20am the postman found her there and alerted her neighbours and the police.

Wells was arrested at the time but was not charged “due to insufficient evidence”.

After two cold case reviews in 1999 and 2005, in 2020 officers from the Major Crime Investigation Team reopened the case.

Semen from the bedsheet was found to be “a billion times more likely” to come from Wells than any other man. He was arrested in June this year.

Ms Brown died in February 1996, at the age of 87, without seeing her attacker brought to justice, but her nephew had written a statement about how the crime had "ruined her life".

The judge added: “She was forced to leave her home, and not only did you rob her of her possessions, but you also robbed her of everything she held dear including her independence.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Darren Hannant, from the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “On that night back in 1980, Wells committed a truly despicable crime and probably thought he had got away with it. But no unsolved serious case is ever completely closed; we work hard to review and assess for opportunities in cold cases and I am proud that we have finally been able to convict Wells and see him pay the price for what he did.”