Saturday, 26 November 2011


A builder caught by DNA evidence 27 years after raping and murdering a woman has been jailed for life.

Wayne Doherty, 50, raped and killed Norah Trott, 63, whose naked body was found dumped by the side of her garage in November 1978 in Rochford, Essex.

Doherty's DNA sample, obtained in 2004, matched an analysis of semen stains on the victim's clothing.

In November 2005, The judge at Basildon Crown Court said he must serve at least 23 years before being considered for release.

Doherty was also given a 10-year concurrent sentence for rape.

Outside court, Mrs Trott's former husband Ronald, 84, said: "This is a great day for the forensic science services and for justice and our jury system.

"I think that the forensic scientists and Essex Police have done a marvellous job in so diligently following up their inquiries 27 years after this terrible event.

"No-one can bring Norah back to enjoy the retirement she was looking forward to, but convicting her vicious killer is the next best thing."

The two-week trial heard Mrs Trott had been repeatedly struck in the face and her attacker had stamped on her body, breaking her voice box so she could not scream for help before he raped her.

Her killer was never caught but the jury heard that in July 2004, Doherty, who had lived close to Mrs Trott's home, was stopped for drink-driving in Cambridge.

A routine mouth swab matched a sample obtained by scientists from Mrs Trott's body and clothes, which had been placed on the national DNA database in March 2003.

Martyn Levett, prosecuting, said there was a one in 190 million chance of the DNA found on Mrs Trott's clothing not belonging to Doherty and a one in 180,000 chance of the DNA found on her body belonging to someone other than Doherty.

After the jury's unanimous guilty verdict the court heard Doherty had a conviction for indecently assaulting a two-year-old girl around 100 yards from where he killed Mrs Trott and a number of other convictions for unrelated offences.

Very dangerous man

Judge Philip Clegg said Doherty was "plainly a very dangerous" man from whom the public needed protection.

He praised the efforts of the forensic scientists and police involved in the case.

"It is entirely due to their perseverance and dedication that the perpetrator of this lady's rape and murder has finally been brought to justice," he said.

"I hope it brings a degree of resolution to those who have been mourning her death for many years."