A MAN is facing a long prison sentence after pleading guilty to raping a woman in York - nearly 30 years after he committed the crime.

York Crown Court heard that the victim has suffered as a result of the crime for many years.

But Andrew Pennington remained at large for 29 years, until an encounter with a prostitute and a cold case review led to him being identified as the rapist.

He is now awaiting sentence and has been warned he will be behind bars for years.

Pennington, 53, of High Street, Rawcliffe near Goole, pleaded guilty to rape and indecent assault. Both offences involved the same woman.

His case was adjourned until January 19 while police carry out further investigations into his activities in the years since the rape.

The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC said: “This is a very grave crime. It has had, sadly, lasting consequences for the victim.

“The sort of sentence you are likely to receive necessarily means you will be placed upon the sex offenders’ register for life.”

The judge had read a victim personal statement which he described as “extremely poignant” and which he said he will bear in mind when passing sentence. Defendants remain on the sex offenders’ register for life if they receive more than 30 months’ imprisonment.

Pennington was remanded in custody. He appeared before York Crown Court via a video link from Lincoln Prison.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said Pennington had been identified because he had had an “incident with a prostitute” in 2009. That had not resulted in a charge, but his DNA had been taken. A cold case review led to his DNA being checked against that of the man who had raped the victim in 1988. The rape occurred in Castlegate, York. The woman was in her 20s at the time and is receiving specialist help from police.

Pennington was arrested by the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Police Major Investigation Team.