Derbyshire rapist who dragged woman off street three decades ago is finally jailed

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.
Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

A 57-year-old Derbyshire man has admitted raping a woman on a county street more than 30 years ago.

Peter Draper was snared last year through DNA evidence from samples of his bodily fluids left at the scene of a violent sex attack on September 16, 1985.

The victim was in her 20s at the time of the rape and was unknown to Draper, who dragged her into a dark alleyway to commit the cold-blooded assault.

Tragically, Draper’s victim died in 2016 and so never saw her attacker brought to justice.

Despite the passing years, Derbyshire police never closed the investigation.

DNA evidence picked up as part of an operation examining stains left at crime scenes led officers to arrest Draper in July 2018.

At Derby Crown Court, Draper, dressed in a grey sweatshirt on video link from HMP Nottingham, pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and three counts of indecent assault against the woman

Judge Robert Egbuna adjourned the sentencing hearing until May 23, remanding Draper, of Starkholmes Road, Matlock, into custody.

He said: “I would like to know a bit more information about you before I sentence you.

“I would like to see a psychiatric report dealing with the issue of dangerousness.”

The attack in Howitt Street, Heanor, took place as the victim was walking home having been out in Nottingham.

She was dragged down an alleyway by Draper who then raped and sexually assaulted her.

Evidence gathered from the scene was kept on file for more than 30 years before Draper was found to be the person responsible for carrying out the attack.

Speaking after the plea, Detective Sergeant Steve Judge, part of the team that led the investigation, said: “Derbyshire police are part of Operation Artemis which is a strategy reviewing outstanding crime scene stains from historical and serious offences.

“Samples which were left at the scene of the rape and kept on file since 1985 led us to identify Draper as the person who carried out the rape.

“Further DNA work was then done to conclude that he was responsible for what was a violent, nasty and horrible sex attack on the victim.

“At the time she worked in Nottingham.

“She got off the bus at 11.45pm on a Monday evening and was walking home.

“Draper followed her, dragged her down an alleyway, raped her and sexually assaulted her.

“Very sadly she died in 2016.

“We are pleased that Draper has admitted to what he did more than three decades ago and we hope her family can take some comfort from his guilty plea.

“We would also like to reassure anyone who has been the victim of anything similar, however long ago it was, that we will fully investigate as we seek to bring those responsible to justice.”