Lauren Sales prosecutes “Clifton Rapist” and UK’s longest serving prisoner

November 14, 2023

Lauren Sales successfully prosecuted the UK’s longest serving prisoner, 82 year old Ronald Evans, who was found guilty of sexual assault following a six day retrial at Harrow Crown Court (sitting at Hendon Magistrates).

Mr Evans was convicted in 1964 for the rape and murder of Kathleen Heathcote, a 21-year-old shop worker who vanished from her home in Nottinghamshire. He was jailed for life but served only 11 years before being released on licence, and moved to Bristol. A murderer and serial sex attacker he came to be known as ‘the Clifton Rapist’ and was Britain’s longest serving prisoner having been jailed for a number of rapes on the Clifton and Durdham Downs for around 20 months in the late 70s; targeting young women aged between 18 and 33 in sex attacks committed in dark alleyways of the city.

A honey-trap operation codenamed ‘Argus’ was eventually enacted by police at the beginning of 1979 to ensnare Mr. Evans, with 11 brave young female officers acting as bait over a period of 11 weeks. In November 2018, Mr. Evans was released from prison after a total of 57 years. On release, he began to work as a volunteer at a community centre in London and used this as an opportunity to target vulnerable women. This allowed him to commit the further sexual assault whilst on life licence.

Sentencing will take place on Thursday 16 November at the Old Bailey.

Lauren Sales has substantial experience prosecuting and representing clients in complex criminal cases and offences including Murder & Manslaughter, Serious Violence, including armed robbery and kidnap as well as Fraud and serious Sexual Offences. See more: [Lauren Sales Profile]

News stories:
[BBC News]
[ITV News]
[Daily Mail]
[The Guardian]
[Bristol Post]