Woman raped 40 years ago in Coventry stages reconstruction in bid to find attacker - The Coventry Observer

Woman raped 40 years ago in Coventry stages reconstruction in bid to find attacker

Coventry Editorial 12th Jan, 2024   0

A WOMAN who was raped as a student in Canley 40 years ago has bravely relived her ordeal to catch the perpetrator.

The woman, who has been called Liz as a pseudonym, was walking to the library at around 6pm on a Monday evening and took a footpath alongside the Warwick University campus in Canley.

She was grabbed from behind with a knife held to her throat and told she would be killed if she screamed.

The 20-year-old law student was forced through a gate onto a football pitch and marched to the far end where it was pitch black.

The man had grabbed her ponytail and the knife nicked her neck as they walked, and she was pushed to the ground, partially undressed and raped.

Liz never saw her attacker’s face and had no discernable accent, but she thought he may have been in his 20s.




He told her not to move, so she lay paralysed with fear for around five minutes before she looked around and saw he had gone.

Liz ran back to the path where she told a passing student of her attack and he took her to a nearby house where an alarm was raised.


Liz’s rapist has never been caught, but she saw the BBC series ‘Forensics – The Real CSI’ last year which was filmed with West Midlands Police.

It prompted her to contact the police again to see if advances in DNA technology might identify her attacker.

Several samples had been taken nearly 40 years before, still too early for DNA testing at that time.

Although paperwork could no longer be traced, the samples still existed in forensic archives.

Liz agreed to a reconstruction on January 9 – the 40th anniversary of her rape – and walked the route she had taken on that day.

“I would like to feel that effort has been made to find him,” she said.

“I would like him to feel scared, because he frightened me for a long time.”

Officers are now submitting the samples they have for DNA testing in the hope that a match can be found in today’s database.

Anyone with information from that day should call 101 quoting crime reference 20/246855/23 to contact police.

You can also call 0800 555 111 to report information anonymously to Crimestoppers.

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