A rapist who was jailed nearly 30 years ago for a series of sex attacks has admitted to two more offences in Harrow.
Michael Chandler, 53, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 14 years in 1988 for a string of attacks on women and has remained in custody since then.
On Friday (January 13) Chandler, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a rape in Harrow on March 27, 1986 in addition to another charge of rape and false imprisonment which he admitted in 2014.
Between 1985 and 1987 chandler carried out a series of vicious attacks on young women across north-west London.
'Violent and sustained attacks'
Detective Sergeant Michael McInerney, from the Met's Complex Case team, said: “It was a surprise to us all when Chandler made further admissions to the case he was originally acquitted of in 1988 and with the supporting forensic evidence in this case verifying his guilt I am pleased he decided to plead guilty, sparing his victim of yet another trial.
“Both women were subjected to violent and sustained attacks and their ordeal has been compounded by the fact that they have had to wait almost three decades to see the man responsible convicted.”
In 2010, a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions say all UK police forces were required to review whether the safety of convictions prior to December 1990 might be affected new DNA testing technology.
Then in 2012, detectives from the Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command reviewed Chandler's 1988 conviction as well as a 10th victim for which he had not stood trial.
Offences against 10 women
Offences against 10 victims were investigated during the 1980s and nine of these proceeded to trial.
However, he was acquitted of offences against three of these victims.
On 27 March 1986, the then 30-year-old victim had been on an evening out with friends at a pub close to where she worked. She left the pub at around 11.30pm and made her way home.
The victim went to bed and awoke a while later to find Chandler lying on top of her. Her hands had been bound together behind her back and Chandler then proceeded to rape the victim. He then fled the scene via an open window.
Forensic evidence gathered during the investigation had been retained in storage for three decades and with the advancement of forensic techniques further DNA analysis was undertaken as part of the review.
Scientists were able to successfully obtain a DNA profile and this was a conclusive match to Chandler.
Chandler was produced from prison on February 10, 2014 and arrested in connection with the investigation into the rape of the 30-year-old victim. He was later charged on October 16, 2014 with this offence and he appeared at the Old Bailey later that same year where he pleaded guilty to the offence.
During the re-investigation authority was sought and subsequently obtained from the DPP to interview Chandler with the offences he had been acquitted of.
19-year-old raped in 1986
One of those cases related to a then 19-year-old victim who had also been raped on March 1, 1986.
At around 1am, the victim was walking through West Harrow Park, where she noticed a man behind a tree.
Chandler who was wearing a balaclava and holding a knife jumped out in front of the victim and began hitting her and dragging her by her clothing. He forced the victim over a fence towards the railway line and instructed her to remove her clothing; he then proceeded to rape her, threatening her with the knife throughout the attack.
The victim was left with a cut to her hand and substantial bruising to her face where she had been punched by Chandler.
Forensic evidence had also been retained in this case and scientists were able to review this and a DNA profile matching that of Chandler was found.
As a result of the DPP's enquires the acquittal in relation to the 19-year-old victim was quashed by the Court of Appeal on the December 6 2016 and Chandler's case referred back to the Old Bailey so that he could be charged.
At Friday's hearing Chandler was charged with the rape of 19-year-old victim and he pleaded guilty to the offence during the same hearing.
'He had no choice but confess to this crime'
DS McInerney said: “"Had it not have been for the advancement in forensic technology, the evidence in relation to the tenth case that was not proceeded with in the 80s may never have been put to Chandler. The overwhelming evidence meant that he had no choice but confess to this crime.
"This case demonstrates that the Met will continue to investigate cases such as these no matter how much time has elapsed. I hope that today's conviction will seek to provide some justice and closure for those victims involved."
He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday, 16 January.
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