While Jeremy Oketch was videoing himself raping a two-year-old girl, the rapist didn’t show his face, but experts were able to identify him by the mark on his hand.
Officers were able to confirm the rapist identity by painstaking comparing photos of his hands taken while in custody and those in the abuse video.
Officers investigating the sickening crime strongly believed Oketch, 33, from Manchester, had committed the sickening crime.
But they did not have enough evidence to convince a jury beyond all reasonable doubt because his face was not shown on the video.
Detective Chief Inspector Colin Lark provided Dame Professor Black, who was working at the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the time, with photos taken of Oketch’s hands in custody to compare to those seen in the video.
Speaking in the BBC documentary, The Hands That Convicted a Paedophile, Det Chief Insp Larkin said it was some of the most harrowing footage he had ever seen.
Det Chief Insp Larkin said:
“It showed a vulnerable child, and it made my heart break. “I knew in my heart of hearts that I had the right man. But in the footage I could not see the offender’s face, only a torso.
“It’s very frustrating know that I’ve got the right man but knowing that I don’t have enough evidence at this stage to convince a jury beyond all reasonable doubt.”
But thanks to the help of esteemed forensic anthropologist, Dame Professor Sue Black, who is an expert in the identification of people’s features, enough evidence was secured to bring Oketch to justice.
“All the comparison is done by eye.“It’s a spot the difference type comparison, that game you used to play as a child.”
These matches would then have to be independently verified.
Oketch was subsequently jailed for 15 years after he admitted rape and other offences.