US News Man who raped and killed Janet Commins in 1976 admits assault on second teenager

18:55  17 july  2017
18:55  17 july  2017 Source:   Press Association

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A man who was jailed after admitting killing a schoolgirl in 1976 has told a court he was an innocent "scapegoat". Noel Jones was 18 when he was arrested over the murder of 15-year-old Janet Commins in Flint.

A man who was jailed after admitting killing a schoolgirl in 1976 has told a court he was an innocent "scapegoat". Noel Jones was 18 when he was arrested over the murder of 15-year-old Janet Commins in Flint.

Janet Commins died aged 15 in 1976 (North Wales Police/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Janet Commins died aged 15 in 1976 (North Wales Police/PA)

A former soldier who was convicted last week of raping and killing a schoolgirl 40 years ago has now admitted sexually assaulting another teenager last year.

Stephen Hough, 58, let an innocent man go to jail and denied any involvement in the death of Janet Commins, 15, in Flint in 1976 during his three-week trial at Mold Crown Court.

He was cleared by the jury last week of murder, but convicted of her manslaughter, rape and buggery.

Jurors were told of a billion-to-one match of his DNA profile to semen left at the crime scene and stored for four decades.

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The trial of Stephen Anthony Hough, 58, of Maes Y Dre in Flint, who is accused of raping and killing 15-year-old Janet Commins between January 7 and January 11, 1976 began on Tuesday.

A man has been convicted of raping and killing a 15-year-old girl in 1976 . Image caption Stephen Hough (right) was convicted 41 years after he sexually assaulted and killed Janet Commins .

But they were not told police only made the DNA match after he was arrested in February last year for sexually assaulting another girl, aged 15, and swabs were taken.

Hough, a father-of-two, separated from his second wife and working as a lorry driver after being thrown out of the Army for attacking and strangling another woman in the 1980s, was due to go on trial for the latest offences in September.

Stephen Hough © Provided by The Press Association Stephen Hough Instead, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail for his attack on Janet, then after a short adjournment returned to court to plead not guilty to rape, but admitted sexual assault by touching the youngster in February last year.

He plied his victim with drink before leaving her bruised, with his semen and DNA later recovered from her body and underwear.

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A man who raped and killed a 15-year-old schoolgirl in 1976 has been jailed for 12 years. Janet Commins ' body was found near a school field in Flint, north Wales, by three children playing hide and seek.

A man who raped and killed a 15-year-old schoolgirl in 1976 has been jailed for 12 years. Janet Commins ' body was found near a school field in Flint, north Wales, by three children playing hide and seek.

The girl, as a victim of a sexual offence, cannot be identified.

In a victim impact statement, she told the court: “Thinking about it makes me feel sick.

“Having heard the devastation of what Stephen Hough has done previously, I feel fortunate things were not worse.”

Mr Justice Clive Lewis sentenced Hough to three years for the sexual assault on the girl, to be served consecutive to his 12-year sentence. He will be eligible for parole after half of the 15-year sentence.

Passing sentence on Hough for the second time in a day, the judge said: “Over the last 40 years, you have killed someone, raped and buggered her and also been found guilty of grievous bodily harm on another woman. You have shown no remorse.”

Janet Commins’ family described the defendant as a “sexual predator”.

Outside, Derek Ierston, who identified his niece’s body, spoke on behalf of the family, saying they were “very, very disappointed” with the sentence.

He added: “But the law is such you have to accept it, whether you like it or not.

“I think the judge is very, very good but his hands are tied.”

Hough hid his guilt for killing Janet while another man, Noel Jones, was jailed for her manslaughter in 1976.

North Wales Police is now under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over how it handled the 1976 investigation at the time of Janet’s death.

Serial killer's victim identified after 40 years .
Police have identified another victim of a notorious serial killer - more than 40 years after he disappeared.  James "Jimmie" Byron Haakenson, who was last heard from in August 1976, was finally confirmed as being murdered by multiple killer John Wayne Gacy after DNA testing.One of America's worst criminals, Gacy was convicted of killing 33 young men before being executed in 1994.Eight of his victims were buried without being identified.

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