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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 15:12 GMT
Rapist guilty of shop sex attack
David Decoteau
Decoteau was caught 10 years after the attack.
A convicted sex attacker obsessed by BBC newsreader Emily Maitlis has been found guilty of a gunpoint rape 10 years after the attack.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court took 28 minutes to convict David Decoteau, 45, of attacking an Ann Summers store assistant in 1996.

Decoteau, from Camberwell, south-east London, denied rape, indecent assault, robbery and false imprisonment.

He was arrested after a Home Office review of unsolved sex cases.

Schoolgirl attack

We will find these rapists and take them off the streets of London
Sergeant Jackie Murphy

Sergeant Jackie Murphy, from the Metropolitan Police's Cold Case Rape Unit, said: "We will find these rapists, we will knock on their door and take them off the streets of London."

Earlier jurors heard how Decoteau allegedly told the 45-year-old shop worker he would "blow her brains out" before stealing 1,500 from the west London branch of Ann Summers in March 1996.

He then raped her in a back office while customers were in the store.

Police were unable to catch him at the time but carefully stored the DNA evidence from the scene.

Nine months after the Ann Summers attack, Decoteau grabbed a 15-year-old girl as she waited for a lift from her mother on Christmas Eve.

He dragged her from a bus stop and raped her in a shop doorway.

Feeling depressed

As she stumbled naked in the street, a passer-by gave chase and police arrested him hiding nearby.

Fibres from his clothes were found on the girl's garments and he was sentenced to 12 years in jail after a trial at the Old Bailey in 1997.

Emily Maitlis
Decoteau wrote to Ms Maitlis to "keep him going in prison".

Admitting he wrote Ms Maitlis letters from his cell, Decoteau said watching women on TV helped him cope with the breakdown of his relationship in 2003.

"I was feeling very depressed and I then focused on watching the BBC evening news to keep me going in prison," he explained.

Detectives arrested Decoteau for the Ann Summers attack following a Home Office review of the case.

This was triggered by a one in a billion match between Decoteau's DNA profile, on file after his previous rape conviction, and swabs taken from his shop assistant victim.

When they arrived at his probation hostel in Camberwell, south east London, on May 9 last year, police found a picture of Ms Maitlis by his bed, six rolls of PVC tape and a series of "scribblings" about rape, violent sex and sexual positions.

It emerged after the verdict that he had already amassed 14 convictions for 35 offences.

The judge asked for a victim impact statement from the shop worker and psychiatric reports on Decoteau before setting a hearing for 15 March.


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