Rapist jailed 16 years after attack
A man who raped a 14-year-old schoolgirl at knifepoint 16 years ago has finally been jailed for the attack.
Police used advances in DNA testing to identify Oliver Bernard, 47, from Kent, who was sentenced to eight years at the Old Bailey on Friday.
In January 1996 Bernard threatened to cut the teenager’s throat before raping her in a garage area between Streatham Hill and Tulse Hill.
Police believe it is "highly likely" that he attacked other women and have released photographs of him in the hope other victims will come forward.
Bernard had asked the teenage girl for cigarettes and money on Christchurch Road then started a conversation with her.
When the teenager tried to break off the conversation, he covered her mouth and a put a knife to her throat.
He then dragged the girl into a garage area and raped her.
After the rape he tried to follow her home, but slipped on ice and fell into a bush.
At the time police did not identify a suspect from the DNA evidence. But
detectives re-opened the case two years ago and thanks to advances in DNA testing the original samples threw up Bernard's name from the police database.
In March Bernard, of Lullingstone Avenue, Swanley, was charged with rape and later pleaded guilty.
DC Andy Beete, Cold Case Team, said: "Bernard was a particularly callous individual who subjected his young victim to the most awful of ordeals.
"I am pleased it has been possible to bring him to justice and commend the victim's bravery in supporting this prosecution.
"It is highly likely Bernard has committed further sexual offences."
Police have released his image in the hope other victims may recognise him and come forward.
Anyone with information should call the Sapphire Cold Case Team on 020 7161 1034 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.