BREAKING NEWS: Ex-soldier could get life for raping 68-year-old Northampton widow in 1986
A man accused of breaking into a Northampton widow'sÂ home in 1986 and raping her has been found guilty following a unanimous verdict.
Donovan Vernon did not flinch as the 12-member jury read out the guilty verdict at Northampton Crown Court this afternoon.
On the night of October 11, 1986, the former serviceman broke into a ground floor window of a 68-year-old woman's home in the east of Northampton wearing a ski-mask.
Once inside he stole scraps of cash from around the house and raped the elderly woman, who had only just lost her husband.
Vernon - a prolific robber with a 31-year history of offending - denied the charges, claiming he and the pensioner had consensual sex in 1986, when he was just 18.
But the jury took little over two hours to reach a verdict today.
Judge Adrienne Lucking QC, adjourned the sentencing for eight weeks so probation officers could assess whether Vernon still posed a risk to the public.
As he is already serving a lengthy sentence for armed robbery and not due for parole until 2023, the judge said she would need to consider locking Vernon up for life.
She said: "I need to consider whether to pass a discretionary life sentence or an extended determinate sentence because of the unusual circumstances of this case, which pre-date his further offending.
"Considering he is now clean of drugs, I need to assess his dangerousness."
Vernon will be sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on August 3.