A 'COLD case' Carlisle rapist trapped by his DNA 31 years after the crime made a chilling threat to his teenage victim.

For more than three decades, sexual predator Paul William Shakespeare, 66, escaped justice for the horrific attack on an 18-year-old girl - dragged from a park footpath as she walked in a Cheltenham park on the afternoon of Sunday, April 29, 1991.

After raping the teenager, Shakespeare fled.

Despite repeated police appeals, he was never traced - until, that is, he was arrested in Carlisle for carrying a knife.

A check on the national DNA database confirmed he was a match for the missing Cheltenham rapist. Confronted by such compelling evidence, Shakespeare this week finally admitted his guilt.

The News & Star can now fully report an outline of his crime given to magistrates as the pensioner's defence lawyer tried to get him freed on bail.

The court heard how the 18-year-old was walking through the park when Shakespeare walked up to her, smelling strongly of alcohol. To her horror, she noticed that he was armed with an improvised weapon - a sharpened stick which had a nail through it.

"Don't say anything or I'll kill you," he told the teenager.

As long as she obeyed her, he would not hurt her, said Shakespeare.

Terrified, she did as he said, walking towards nearby bushes.

"I did so because I was frightened," the later victim told police. "I was too frightened to make any noise."

Forcing her to the ground, he then raped her. Shakespeare forced the teenager to say where she lived and worked.

He then made this disturbing threat: "Don't say anything or I'll come back and kill you. I know where you live and I know where you work. "If you tell anybody I'll come and I'll hurt you."

After Shakespeare fled, the teenager called a friend, hysterical. Police recovered the attacker's DNA but they had no match - until a breakthrough on June 4 this year.

Shakespeare was arrested in Carlisle with a knife. Following reports that he had chased a young person in a public park, he was found to be carrying a kitchen knife.

He told police officers that he carried it for "protection".

There had been a report of a man exposing himself in the same park, the court heard.

Magistrates also heard that Shakespeare had knocked on a young woman's door to ask for a glass of water and while he drank it he was "staring strangely" at a young child who was in the house.

He later returned to the house on two occasions, but the woman would not answer the door.

John Smith, for Shakespeare, said children had thrown stones at the pensioner so he carried the knife to frighten them if there was another confrontation.

Appearing via a video link at Gloucester Crown Court this week, Shakespeare pleaded guilty to both rape and having an offensive weapon.

The judge said he will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on January 17. "I have seen the victim impact statement and it makes for sadly compelling reading," said the judge.

Shakespeare, whose first reaction when arrested for rape was to laugh, was remanded in custody.