UK & World News

  • 11 December 2012, 18:44

Sex Attacker Jailed By Skin Under Nails

A sex attacker has been jailed after being traced by skin cells left under the fingernails of his victim after she fought him off.

John Elam, 44, attempted to rape a university student in Coventry as she walked home in the early hours of the morning.

He pinned the 20-year-old to the ground but she fought him off, clawing at his face with her nails.

Forensics officers were able to extract DNA from skin cells left under her nails and linked Elam to the attack.

He was jailed for four years and ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register for life by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after admitting he attempted to rape the woman in an attack on June 22 this year.

Detective Sergeant Jim Edmonds, of West Midlands Police, said: "This is a fantastic example of police using advanced forensic analysis to identify a sex attacker.

"We're talking about microscopic skin cells found under the victim's nails, but that's all we needed to get a positive DNA result pointing to Elam as the prime suspect.

"He initially admitted sexual assault but we felt the seriousness of the attack warranted a stronger charge of attempted rape, and that's what we pushed for, and the evidence we secured against him eventually gave Elam little option but to plead guilty."

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