A Victorian man has this morning been jailed for a horrific rape and home invasion in the state's north-east - almost 20 years after the crimes were committed.
Neville Mansfield, 50, was convicted last year by a County Court jury of five counts of rape, four of false imprisonment, three of making a threat to kill and one each of indecent assault and aggravated burglary.
The offences were committed against a mother, her two young children and a babysitter at the family's Shepparton home in April 1993.
In sentencing this morning, Judge Marilyn Harbison said the woman and her children had been subjected to a terrifying experience, where Mansfield broke into their home about 7.30am, completely disguised.
Judge Harbison said Mansfield had wrapped material over his head, a tea towel over his face and was wearing a long-sleeved top, long pants and gloves.
"The intruder entered the house through the unlocked back door carrying a knife," Judge Harbison said. "He grabbed the six-year-old boy and held him in a headlock with a knife at his throat. He said to the mother 'Do as you are told or he will be hurt, I will slit his throat'."
The two children, the mother and the babysitter had their hands tied up with stockings and were repeatedly threatened with having their throats cut unless they complied with his demands.
Mansfield took the mother from room to room looking for valuables. He raped her several times in the kitchen and washed her and the floor afterwards to remove traces of his DNA.
Just before he left, Mansfield told the mother: "You are very lucky that I didn't slit all your throats and cut your dog's head off. You're not to tell anyone or I will come back with friends next time and kill you and I will get a kick out of it.
"I have got a picture memory. I have got an excellent memory and you will never be safe. Don't think you will be safe going to the police because I have got contacts and let me tell you, they can be bought. Now swear on your kids that you won't tell anybody."
Judge Harbison said it took police 18 years to establish Mansfield's identity and he was not initially a suspect. But in 2007, when he was arrested by Queensland police and a DNA sample taken, the case was reactivated on finding that the DNA matched through the national database.
In sentencing, Judge Harbison took into account Mansfield's reduced life expectancy because of his Aboriginal heritage, his heart condition and family's history of early death from heart attack.
She also said that at trial, many of the victims' accounts had not been challenged, which had in part reduced their suffering.
She also took into account that the offending had taken place over two hours on one day, and not been repeated.
Mansfield was jailed for 16 years and must serve a minimum of 12 years before being eligible for parole.
Outside court, the mother said she was pleased with the sentence and today's result brought closure and it meant she could get on with her life.
This reporter is on Twitter: @adrianlowe