An Indian market trader has been jailed for raping a customer he convinced should try on a pair of jeans in the back of his truck - 18 years ago
Sukhdarshan Singh was brought to justice after he was swabbed for DNA in relation to a separate driving offence earlier this year, and his details then matched to a national database.
The 52-year-old businessman was arrested at his home in Wolverhampton last June for the attack which took place at an afternoon open-air market in Brewery Lane, Bridgend, on February 13, 1988.
Singh, an Indian national of Babors Field, Bilston, Staffs, persuaded the woman, who was 59 at the time, to use his vehicle to test the size of the jeans.
Prosecutor Martyn Kelly told Cardiff Crown Court the scene of the attack was outside the premises which used to be the Ritz bingo hall.
'She remembers nothing distinctive about the stall,' he said.
'The defendant showed her a few pairs of jeans and she paid £10.
'She was concerned they might not fit so he offered the use of the lorry behind the stall to try them on.'
The victim, went into the vehicle and Singh soon followed, closing the door behind him before pushing her down onto some bedding.
Mr Kelly said: 'He pinned her down on her back with his arms across her shoulders.
'She was quite a small person and she tried to fight him off but he was too strong.
'He then raped her.
'It didn't last very long and before he left he said, 'you stop here, I've another friend'.'
The victim, now a 77-year-old grandmother, pulled her tights and underwear up and immediately left the vehicle feeling 'dirty, filthy and disgusted'. Police were called after the victim alerted other shop owners and the market traders in the area were questioned, but Singh escaped detection.
In 1996, he was imprisoned for seven months for perverting the course of justice for attempting to evade prosecution for dangerous driving and being unfit to drive through drink and drugs.
However, it was not until February this year when he was finally snared after police took a mouth swab and fingerprints following his arrest for drink-driving.
Radical new techniques to DNA profiling led to his details being matched to the Bridgend rape.
Mr Kelly said: 'It's a belt and braces case.
'The probability of it not being him is one in one billion.'
Singh, a father of two teenagers after marrying in 1990, was escorted to court by a family member who requested to leave via a side entrance through shame when they heard his guilty plea, stating they 'never wanted to be associated with him again'.
Grace Ong, defending, said Singh's family, who live in a 'close-knit Punjabi community' in the West Midlands would now suffer from his actions and he was 'deeply regretful'.
In jailing Singh for four-and-a-half years, Judge William Gaskell said: 'This incident has caused the victim's family huge distress.
'She believes the illness to her husband was brought on by the stress of the rape that you committed.
'But I don't sentence you for the death.
'It's important that you and the public understand what the consequences are to victims of offending like this.'
Singh was also placed on the sex offenders' register for life.
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