Man pleads guilty to breaking into woman's home and raping her

Intruder who broke into 71-year-old woman’s home and raped her in her bed more than 40 years ago pleads guilty after DNA breakthrough

  • Violet Brown was woken by sound of Kenneth Wells, 63, breaking into her home
  • He raped the then 71-year-old woman before fleeing the property in Wiltshire
  • Wells was arrested shortly after and remained the prime suspect but went free
  • Arrested on June 29 and pleaded guilty to burglary, rape and false imprisonment
  • Ms Brown died in 1996 at the age of 87 without seeing her attacker jailed

Kenneth Wells (pictured) broke into Violet Brown’s home before raping her

A man has pleaded guilty to the horrific rape of a 71-year-old woman in her own home more than 40 years ago.

Violet Brown, who lived alone, was woken by the sound of Kenneth Wells, now 63 but then aged 23, breaking into her house and then walking into her bedroom.

Wells raped Ms Brown and locked her inside before fleeing the property in Collingbourne Ducis, Wilts.

She was forced to wait until morning before calling her neighbours and the police for help.

Wells was arrested shortly after the incident and remained the prime suspect, but there was never enough evidence to lead to a charge.

He was arrested at his home address in Salisbury on June 29, 2021, and subsequently charged with burglary, rape and false imprisonment.

Wells, from Salisbury, Wilts., appeared at Salisbury Crown Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to burglary, rape and false imprisonment in the early hours of November 6, 1980.

Last summer officers from the Major Crime Team reopened the cold case and re-examined the original investigation. 

After a detailed re-investigation, and using the latest in DNA technology, they were able to confirm a direct match between the evidence recovered from the original scene and Wells. 

Sadly, Ms Brown died in February 1996, at the age of 87, without seeing her attacker brought to justice.

Wells, of Verona Road, Salisbury, Wilts., appeared at Salisbury Crown Court (pictured) on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to burglary, rape and false imprisonment in the early hours of November 6, 1980

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Darren Hannant, from the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: ‘There is no doubt that this horrendous attack had a lasting impact on Ms Brown, who had to live with the memory of this traumatic incident for the rest of her life.

‘She was never comfortable in her own home after the attack and moved out a short time later. The effect on her quality of life was significant.

‘Despite the fact that she is no longer alive, she has been at the forefront of all of our minds throughout this investigation, and we have been determined to crack this case to finally ensure the man responsible was arrested and convicted.’

Wells has been remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing on Friday, October 1.

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