October 2009

Former South Oxhey man Geoffrey Stoneham jailed for 1980 rape

A 63-year-old former South Oxhey man has been jailed for eight years after raping and threatening to kill a teenage girl nearly 30 years ago.

Geoffrey Stoneham left his 17-year-old victim a “quivering wreck” after he and another man attacked her in Micklefield Road, High Wycombe, on April 25, 1980.

The father-of-three, of Alamein Road, Swanscombe, Kent, pleaded guilty to the offence on what was meant to be the first day of a trial – having denied it when he first appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court last December.

Both he and the other man, who has never been caught, attacked the victim as she walked alone by a railway embankment – taking turns to rape her.

Forensic samples taken after the attack were only able to confirm the blood group of her attacker.

It was not until 2007, when the samples were analysed again, that a DNA match was discovered with Stoneham, who was living in Prestwick Road at the time.

The court was told the chances of the DNA coming from someone else were “in the order of one in a billion”.

Alan Blake, prosecuting, said: “As she passed the entrance to the railway embankment, a man walked out in front of her.

“He grabbed her from behind and put his hand over her mouth and threw her on a grassy bank.

“He released his grip on her mouth. She screamed again and he told her he had a knife.

“He ordered her to walk up a hill. She felt a pointed instrument in her back, which she believed was a knife.

“At that point they were joined by a second male. He told her: ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to help you’.

“She was ordered to lie on her stomach and to put her coat over her head so she wouldn’t see her attackers.”

Both men took it in turns to rape her, and she was then told to stay where she was for five minutes.

Mr added: “They threatened to kill her if she moved.”

The court heard Stoneham has 32 previous convictions for 65 offences, dating back to 1959, including two of a sexual nature.

In a statement read to the court, the victim’s sister said the young woman “changed overnight” following the attack.

The statement read: “She always needed someone to go with her when she went out. There was always someone with her at her house.

“When she had children she couldn’t face taking them to the park.”

Nicola Cafferkey, defending, said: “He’s taken responsibility, albeit at a very late stage, for his offending behaviour.

“In cases of this nature, it’s very rare people actually enter a guilty plea.”

Passing sentence, Judge Seddon Cripps said: “This, it seems to me, was a terrifying attack on a young female.

“You left her a quivering wreck on the ground and told her you would try and kill her. I am sure she believed you and she has suffered ever since.”

Stoneham must also remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.