October 2011

Double rapist caught by DNA jailed for 16 years

A DOUBLE rapist caught out by DNA evidence 20 years after his first attack was jailed for 16 years today.

Frank Watson, 47, of Gibbon Close, Borehamwood, was only linked to the crimes when he was arrested for possessing child and animal pornography earlier this year.

His DNA was found to be a perfect match with samples taken during the original rape investigations in 1991 and 1997.

Sentencing, the judge, Mr Recorder Brian O’Neill QC, told Watson: “You have shown not a shred of remorse for your actions and there is little, if anything, which amounts to mitigation in your case.

“These were truly dreadful crimes and the only sentence that is appropriate to pass upon you is a very lengthy sentence of imprisonment.”

Watson attacked his first victim, a 22-year-old, as she walked home from Potters Bar railway station just after midnight on September 13, 1991, the court was told.

Around seven years later, in the early hours of August 21, 1997, he targeted an 18-year-old as she walked through Aberford Park, Borehamwood.

Both were pulled to the ground before Watson threatened to stab them, tore off their clothes, raped them and fled the scene.

“The effect upon the first victim, and upon her family, was devastating,” said the judge.

“She describes how this attack was to change her life forever.”

He added that the second victim had found the experience “equally considerable and devastating”.

It was not until April this year, when he was arrested on unrelated child and animal porn charges, that Watson was linked to the crimes.

Some 136 sickening images of children, and a further 54 featuring animals, were found on his two computers.

Five of the images of children were classed as level four – the second most serious category on the five-point scale used to rank such images.

Watson denied two counts of rape but was found guilty after a five-day trial.

He initially told police he had not had sex with anybody except his wife since they married in 1988, but then changed his story and insisted the two women had consented.

He also admitted six counts of making indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography, claiming the child pornography had been sent to him by a contact on the internet.

Watson said he had sought out the images of bestiality himself out of “curiosity”.

Robin du Preez, defending, said his client, who suffers from Perth’s disease, had been effectively abandoned by his family, including his wife of 23 years, since the charges came to light.

Watson will be on the sex offenders register for life and was also banned from working with children.

Det Con Danny Maiden said outside court: “I hope this result gives some sense of closure to the victims who have had to live with this horrifying ordeal for many years.”