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Newspaper picture helps solve 34-year-old rape case

A picture of a convicted rapist published in a weekly newspaper last year has helped solve two unreported attacks going back 34 years.

Last year, the Kentish Express covered the case of 52-year-old Jeremy Smith who was sentenced to 27 years in jail after being found guilty of a series of sex attacks.

The paper’s report, which included a photograph of Smith, was seen by a woman who told detectives that he was the man who had raped her.

After police managed to trace a further victim, Smith, of Pett Lane, Charing, has now been handed a life sentence.

The first victim – who was attacked in the 1980s – later told officers: “I opened the newspaper to see a photo of a man who had been convicted of sexual attacks.

“My life  was turned upside down when I saw that photo of him. I knew that he was the person who had raped me when I was very young.!”

After police re-opened their enquirers they were then able to trace another victim who gave them a statement of her ordeal, also in the 1980s.

Smith pleaded guilty to to the latest set of offences and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  It will be 14 years before he will be considered for parole.

Ian Carter, editorial director of the KM Group, said: “This shows how vitally important it is that we are able to fully publicise people convicted of serious crimes, and that includes using their pictures.

“Like all publishers, we have regular debates with our local force about the release of offenders’ images.”