DNA traps 'cold case' rapist nine years after attack on woman at knifepoint in countryside near Northampton

Court hears victim's harrowing tale of how she was dragged from car and violently assaulted

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 1:47 pm

Routine DNA swabs led to a man being convicted of raping a woman at knifepoint in countryside near Northampton more than nine years ago.

Martin Twort, aged 31, was found guilty on Tuesday (October 19) of the horrific attack in 2012 when he dragged the victim from a car, threatened to kill and violently attacked her.

Twort, formerly of an address in St James, denied the charge.

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Twort will be sentenced next month for the horrific rape of a woman nine years ago

But a jury unanimously found him guilty after less than three hours deliberating having heard harrowing evidence from the victim, who was then in her mid-40s.

The victim told Northampton Crown Court she had been picked up by a man while walking home from Northampton General Hospital on June 10, 2012.

As she came out of a shop in Semilong, a man in a car pulled over and asked her if she wanted a lift. She was feeling unwell, so accepted.

They drove around for a while, eventually heading in the direction of Kingsthorpe at which point he began to talk about sex before pulling over in an isolated spot somewhere between Moulton and Pitsford.

When the victim resisted his attempts to kiss her, he produced a knife and threatened to kill her as she was dragged from the vehicle and subjected to a violent rape during which Twort warned he would kill her if she went to the police.

A security guard from nearby Moulton College eventually found the terrified victim wandering along a road at 2.10am the following morning.

Medical examination revealed masses of bruises across the victim's body. DNA swabs taken at the time produced no matches on the national database, however, until five years later when Twort was arrested in connection with a theft case in 2017.

That investigation never reached court but swabs taken as a routine part of the inquiry matched those from the 2012 rape investigation.

DS Julie Gallagher from Northamptonshire Police Cold Case Team, who led the investigation, said justice had finally been served for a particularly violent and menacing rape.

She said: “The victim has shown tremendous courage in supporting the investigation and can now finally be reassured that this man will go to jail for a very long time.

“I’d to thank my team who worked tremendously hard on the investigation which led to the conviction of this dangerous and violent man.”

Det Supt Emma James, from the Force’s Crime Command, said: “Northamptonshire Police will continue to work tirelessly to combat violence against women and girls and we will always seek to investigate and review non-recent offences, no matter how long ago they happened.”

His Honour Judge David Herbert QC remanded Twort in custody until sentencing on December 16.