A MAN has gone on trial accused of raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint as she walked to school.
Paul Jones (48), of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham, denies rape, engaging in sexual activity in front of a child, possession of a knife used to threaten in a public place and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The offences relate to the rape of a schoolgirl in Canklow Woods on November 14, 2016, at 8.30am.
Jones also denies engaging in sexual activity in front of a child in connection with an offence in June 2011 in Clifton involving an 11-year-old girl.
Prosecutor Mr James Baird opened the case yesterday (Monday) and told the jury of eight men and four women that DNA evidence had been found on the 15-year-old victim which matched a DNA profile taken from Jones after his arrest three days after the alleged attack.
The DNA profile also matched that taken from another schoolgirl in 2011 who had been sitting at a bus stop outside her school when a man carried out a sex act in front of her, the court heard.
Mr Baird told the jury they would hear from forensic scientists during the trial who would say the chances of the profile being wrong were “one in a billion”.
Police also found a black handled kitchen knife under a mat in the footwell of his black Mondeo car which was similar to the description the 15-year-old schoolgirl gave of the weapon the rapist had used, the court was told.
“Identity parades were also carried out and the rape victim identified Jones as being her attacker,” said Mr Baird.
A member of the public also identified Jones as the man he had seen in the vicinity at the time of the attack, he added.
Mr Baird said Jones had admitted being in the area at the time of the attack, but claimed he was walking his dog, despite no dog being shown on CCTV footage taken from near the woods.
Jones had insisted the knife in his car had been used to open packaging, added the prosecutor.
Mr Baird said: “When he was informed about the DNA evidence, he made no comment.
“In a defence statement, the defendant now seeks to challenge the taking of the DNA evidence sample of him by PC Chris Lewis.
"Further, he does not accept his semen was on the clothing or the bodies of the two complainants.
“I suppose he’s saying he’s been fitted up, this is a conspiracy against him, and that’s the issue for you to decide.”
The trial continues.
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