Telford Town Park rape: No sentence will be enough, says victim's family

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | Crime | Published:

The family of a woman who was raped at knifepoint by a stranger in Telford 25 years ago have said no sentence will ever be enough for her attacker.

Mark Hemmings was jailed for 10 years and six months last week by a judge. He was finally arrested for the crime after stabbing a police dog during a disturbance at his Bridgnorth home last year.

DNA swabs taken from the 58-year-old were matched to the rape of the woman in Telford Town Park in 1993. The woman, who was 36 at the time, died in 2015 without ever finding out who the culprit was.

Her family said they were not surprised by the length of the term and are calling for a DNA register linked to National Insurance numbers or a similar system.

Hemmings, who admitted rape, was told that he must serve half of the term before being released on licence. He will also be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

In a statement following the sentencing at Shrewsbury Crown Court, her family said: “The sentence was what we expected. No sentence will ever be enough.

“We are pleased with the outcome of today’s sentencing where he has to serve five years in prison, but no time served by Hemmings will ever make up for the suffering and devastation that she endured for 23 years until she passed away.

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“The detectives at West Mercia Police remained committed to the case for decades and deserve recognition for the work which has resulted in the conviction of this rapist.

“We are heartbroken she cannot be here today to see him convicted and sentenced, but take comfort in knowing that he will be locked up and not at risk of harming others.

“We believe that DNA records should be part of data records like a National Insurance number so that many crimes could be solved and criminals deterred from carrying out such brutal and devastating crimes.”

The court heard that Hemmings, of Tasley Close, Bridgnorth, had been addicted to drugs at the time of the attack.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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