Ex-soldier jailed for raping and killing schoolgirl Janet Commins in 1976

Telegraph Reporters
Stephen Hough was caught after a billion-to-one DNA match - © ANDREW PRICE/View Finder Pict

A former soldier who raped and killed a schoolgirl has been jailed for 12 years, four decades after an innocent man went to prison for the crime.

Stephen Hough, 58, hid his guilt while Noel Jones was jailed for killing Janet Commins, 15, in Flint, North Wales, in 1976.

Janet Commins Credit: Universal News (Europe)

But a billion-to-one match of Hough's DNA with samples found at the crime scene was uncovered after his DNA was taken by police last year.

Hough denied even knowing Janet but was convicted last week by a jury at Mold Crown Court of rape, buggery and manslaughter following a three-week trial.

Stephen Hough (right) arriving at Llandudno Magistrates' Court Credit: Andrew Price

Hough, from Flint, was cleared of the alternative charge of murder.

Passing sentence Mr Justice Clive Lewis told him: "You have shown no remorse whatsoever for what you did to that young girl.

"You must have thought you had avoided responsibility for your crimes.

"This offence involved a particularly vulnerable victim, a 15-year-old girl, forcibly raped and buggered.

"You held her face down, she was unable to breathe and she died."

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