A sex predator has been sentenced to eight years in prison for non-recent sexual offences which took place almost 40 years ago in Stevenage.

Paul King, aged 63, from Brighton, appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, February 8) for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to attempted buggery and indecent assault following an incident in 1983.

He was sentenced to eight years in prison for each offence, which will run concurrently. He will also be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

The Comet: Paul King, 63, from Brighton, has been jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to a sexual assault in StevenagePaul King, 63, from Brighton, has been jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to a sexual assault in Stevenage (Image: Herts police)

The court heard how at around 10pm on February 10, 1983, a teenage boy was walking on a snow-covered path through Fairlands Valley Park, when he was approached by a man and sexually assaulted.

The victim reported the incident to police. No offender was located at the time, however a DNA profile of the man was recorded.

A forensic review of the cold case resulted in a positive DNA profile match for King.

He was subsequently arrested, charged and later pleaded guilty to the offences.

Detective Inspector Iain MacPherson, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “I’m pleased that King has finally been jailed for this awful attack.

“Officers conducting a review of this cold case, assisted by the advancement of DNA technologies, were able to find justice for the victim almost 40 years later.

“I hope historical offenders hearing about this case sleep a little less easy at night knowing we could be knocking on their door.”

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for practical and emotional support. The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them.

To contact Herts SARC, call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email Herts.SARC@nhs.net or visit www.hertssarc.org.

This service is open to everyone – men, women and young people, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

You can also report information to police online at herts.police.uk/report or call the non-emergency number 101.