A VIOLENT sex attacker, jailed for life for raping a pensioner in her home, has had his complaints that his trial was unfair thrown out.
Paul Robertshaw was living in Saltney when he broke into Emma Roden’s flat in Tower Road, Chester, and beat and raped the 71-year-old.
Miss Roden, who lived alone, was throttled with a pair of stockings during the assault in November 1996.
She suffered extensive injuries to her face, shoulders, chest, arms, legs and thighs, as well as to her genitals.
Robertshaw, now 47, denied rape but was found guilty by a jury at Chester Crown Court in May 2012. He had a previous conviction for raping another elderly woman.
Judge Roger Dutton jailed him for life and ordered he must spend at least 15 years behind bars before being considered for parole.
Jurors heard Miss Roden was left so badly traumatised by the attack that until her death in 2006 she was never able to live independently again.
Robertshaw moved away from Saltney after the attack and was living in a caravan in Doncaster when he was arrested in September, 2011.
In April he challenged the length of his life sentence, but that appeal was thrown out.
Robertshaw challenged the jury’s verdict at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers maintaining the conviction was unsafe.
But his appeal was dismissed by judges, who said Robertshaw faced a powerful prosecution case and there was no unfairness in his trial.
Judge Peter Rook QC, sitting with Lord Justice Davis, told the court Miss Roden was beaten and raped by her relentless attacker, who stayed overnight in her home before fleeing the next day.
Tests in December 2010 revealed a bloody palm print – found on her television during the police investigation – was a match for Robertshaw and he was later arrested. Further tests revealed his DNA profile was also a match for samples taken from the crime scene and tax records indicated he lived near Chester around the time of the attack.
Robertshaw said a stroke had left him unable to remember even living in the Chester area, but he was found guilty by the jury.
His lawyers argued jurors should not have been told about the previous rape he committed in 1987.
The effect of the revelation was so prejudicial that he was robbed of his right to a fair trial, they claimed.
They also said Miss Roden’s death meant her account had to be pieced together from what she had told friends and family at the time and that created extra unfairness.
But Judge Rook said Robertshaw’s conviction was safe, adding: “The previous conviction was properly admitted in evidence.
“In light of the evidence of the palm print and the DNA, this was certainly not a case of bad character evidence bolstering a weak case.”