Judges dismiss double rapist's bid for freedom
A SEX attacker who was jailed for life for the horrific double-rape of a prostitute has failed in a bid to clear his name.
Barry O'Donnell pounced on the girl near Waterloo Road, Cobridge and raped her twice before abandoning her in the street.
The 59-year-old later admitted drinking 15 pints of beer and whisky laced with amphetamine before launching the attacks.
Now O'Donnell, pictured below, formerly of Wharf Lane, Shelton, has lost a bid for freedom after failing to persuade London's Court of Appeal that fresh evidence rendered his convictions unsafe.
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Lawyers hired by O'Donnell argued that another person's DNA found on O'Donnell was significant. The new evidence, coupled with the fact that none of the victim's DNA was found on him, suggested that he had not had sex with the woman, the court was told.
But a panel of three appeal judges rejected O'Donnell's appeal.
Lord Justice Hughes said: "We are quite satisfied that the material put before us provides no indication that this conviction is unsafe.".
O'Donnell was found guilty of two counts of rape by a jury at Stafford Crown Court in April 2006.
Judge Michael Dudley sentenced him to life imprisonment after branding him 'a very significant risk to members of the publc'.
The court heard how the hysterical victim was found by a passing motorist near O'Donnell's hostel, covered in blood, with her top around her head and skirt twisted around.
The heroin addict said she met her attacker in Waterloo Road and was attacked by him. She then escaped after flagging down a taxi – only to be attacked again after later returning to the same area.
O'Donnell claimed he was not present at the time of the first incident and denied any sexual contact during the second.
He was acquitted of assault, but found guilty of the two rapes.
The attacks happened just 10 months after O'Donnell was released on licence from a 12 year prison sentence after being found guilty of six offences in 1997 – including two counts of attempted rape.