September 2019: Recently spotted in Sunderland

June 2003: Sentenced to ten years

May 2003

The copycat video rapist

Copycat attacker Steven Riley raped a terrified mum while her children slept in the next room.

The stranger-rape of a 23-year-old victim in a Newcastle house was carried out with the knife at her throat in the early hours.

And she bravely stifled her screams to protect her young children sleeping in their beds in other rooms.

Today Riley, 22, of Houghton Avenue, Cowgate, Newcastle, is behind bars facing a lengthy jail term after admitting rape and burglary with intent to rape.

The Chronicle can reveal how Riley was trapped in an intensive manhunt by officers from Newcastle North CID.

It also emerged his brother, David, 32, was convicted of rape on a teenage girl at Newcastle Crown Court in 1995. He was sentenced to six years and served four before being released.

Riley had played out his fantasies depicted in an American film Complex of Fear, which showed a rapist breaking into women’s homes and raping them at knifepoint.

Detectives found the DVD in a search of Riley’s home. In one scene, white socks were shoved into the victim’s mouth to stop her screaming.

A sock was discovered near the pillow of Riley’s victim after he broke into her home shortly before midnight and crept up into her bedroom while her husband was not at home.

The victim, who didn’t know her attacker, awoke to find the intruder standing over her with a knife. It was dark and he was dressed in a waterproof jacket which was pulled up and fastened up to his nose.

Det Con Shaun Heslop, of Newcastle North CID, said: “This was a cold, calculated attack on a vulnerable woman.

“Intensive manpower resources were put into the area as soon as rape was reported to us. Door to door inquiries and the intelligence-led operation led to Riley’s arrest.

“He had denied the offence right up until the time he appeared in court yesterday.”

It is understood the wealth of evidence gathered in the case, including a DNA swab sample given by Riley, matched DNA from the scene.

Forensic samples proved crucial, and scientists were able to fast track their results back to police.

Although the knife used against the woman was never found, it was thought to have been a steak knife taken from her kitchen after Riley broke in at midnight in January this year.

Riley thought he was untouchable and would never be caught.

When he was arrested at his home he put on the jacket, which he was said to have worn on the night of the rape, and was taken to the police station.

Remanding Riley in custody for reports at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Judge Beatrice Bolton said: “You have pleaded guilty to two very serious offences. I have read the papers in your case.

“It seems essential to me that before the court passes the inevitable custodial sentence of some considerable length, it knows what risk you pose to the public.”