Man who subjected young brothers to sexual assault in Warminster 40 years ago has been jailed
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A man who subjected two young brothers to a sexual attack in Warminster more than 40 years ago, has been convicted and jailed following a cold case review.
Stefon Francis Winter, who is now 70 years old, was this week found guilty of two counts of indecency and two counts of gross indecency.
On the evening of Sunday the 15th June, 1980, Winter assaulted two children in the changing rooms of Highbury Football Field in Warminster.
The brothers had been playing football together when they were led away by Winter and attacked.
The incident was reported to the police and clothing was seized, but no suspect was identified at the time.
DNA technology was not available in 1980. However, this matter was selected for a cold case review in 2016, and the original exhibits were re-examined using more sophisticated techniques not available at the time.
Winter’s DNA was found on the clothes of one of the brothers, and he was arrested from his home address in Goatacre, Calne.
After protracted further enquiries, he was subsequently charged with the offences as they would have been in 1980.
He pleaded not guilty in court. However, on Friday (10/09) a jury convicted him of all four counts and he was jailed for a total of three years.
He was sentenced in line with the guidelines for the offences as they were back in 1980.
Detective Inspector Tom Straker, from Central CID, oversaw the review of the cold case and welcomed the conviction.
He said: “This was a horrible, traumatic assault which understandably had a long-lasting impact on the two victims.
“Not only did they have to re-live the incident when the cold case was reopened, but they had to hear it all again in court due to Winter refusing to admit what he had done.
“I hope this conviction shows that no unsolved case of this nature is completely closed and that we will continue to fight to get justice for victims.”
Detective Constable Chris McLoughlin, the officer in the case, added: “I want to pay tribute to the two victims in this case and thank them for the bravery they have shown in supporting the police throughout this investigation. Furthermore, to the scientists and archivists nationally who have so professionally made this possible.
“Winter is a dangerous offender, who has escaped justice for more than 40 years and I welcome this conviction which will see him put behind bars and ensure he no longer poses any risk to the public.
"Regardless of the passage of time, we will work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice. Let this be a warning to anyone else out there who has committed offences and has, so far, evaded the law.”
Wiltshire Police would always urge victims of sexual offences to report these to the police. You can do this by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Victims can also seek support and counselling from the Swindon and Wiltshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) - they can be contacted on the helpline 01793 781916.
You can also read more information on our website here.