Man charged with 1976 rape and murder of schoolgirl


A 57-year-old man has been charged with the murder and rape of a 15-year-old schoolgirl more than 40 years ago.

Janet Commins was killed in Flint, North Wales, on January 7 1976.

Stephen Anthony Hough, from the same area, will appear at Llandudno Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Iestyn Davies of North Wales Police said: "There have been significant developments to assist police investigations of this nature in the past 40 years and significant changes in the way we approach murder investigations.

"This man has not previously been arrested in connection with the 1976 investigation.

"A dedicated team of officers have been working on this investigation and as a result further evidence has come to light which has caused us to review all the circumstances surrounding the initial investigation. Consequently a referral has been made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission."

"Janet's family is being supported by specialist officers."

Eileen Commins, Janet's sole surviving parent, said: "I have been aware since May of this year that North Wales Police have been reinvestigating the murder of my daughter in 1976. I have today been informed that a local man who had not previously been suspected has been charged with her murder and rape.

"This has come as a great shock to me and my family and I would ask at this time that our privacy as a family be respected and no further statement will be forthcoming at this stage."