Rapist put behind bars

A PORTISHEAD man has been put behind bars after his DNA linked him to the rapes of two women.

Russell Pearce appeared at Bristol Crown Court this morning (Mon) to be sentenced for the offences, one of which happened in 2002 and the other in February this year.

The 30-year-old of Badger Rise was charged with two counts of rape, one count of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault and was handed a 12-year extended prison sentence as a result.

The first offence took place in Bristol city centre, near College Green, on May 18, 2002.

Pearce asked a woman, who was 18 at the time, for a cigarette after she left a nightclub and began walking home. He then dragged her into an alleyway where he raped her.

The second offence occurred in Portishead on February 14 of this year when Pearce entered a house and raped a woman while she was asleep in bed.

DNA at the crime scenes provided a match, linking him to both offences.

Most Read

In court, Pearce was given a 12-year sentence and told he will be on the sexual offenders register for life.

Detective Constable Kai Hannan said: “The 12-year sentence passed today on Russell Pearce is a reflection of the seriousness of the crimes he has committed over the last eight years.

“His first offence was committed in 2002 and for eight years he thought he had got away with a stranger rape on a lone woman in Bristol City centre.

“A further offence was committed in 2010 and as a result of developments in DNA technology, a DNA match linking him to both crime scenes was identified and Pearce arrested.

“The result today highlights that no matter how old a crime may be we will be relentless in bringing offenders to justice and making the city a safer place.”

In September 2009, Operation Bluestone was launched by Avon and Somerset Constabulary in a bid to tackle rape and serious sexual assault in Bristol and it was the officers on this team that brought about Pearce’s arrest.

As a result of Operation Bluestone both reporting and detections rates of rape and sexual assault have increased.