John Bainbridge broke into the victim’s home in Basford to carry out the brutal attack on May 15, 1986.
Armed with a knife, Bainbridge committed the assault in front of the woman’s two children who were aged five and nine. Bainbridge, now of Beckett Street, Burton-on-Trent, was sentenced after pleading guilty at Nottingham Crown Court.
He must serve a minimum of eight years in jail before he will be considered for release and he will be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Bainbridge, who lived in Bulwell at the time of the offence, was not caught at the time despite a lengthy investigation. But following recent advancements in DNA science, he was arrested and charged in June this year.
Detective Inspector Justine Wilson said: “I would like to offer the utmost praise to the victim and her children.
“For the last 30 years they have continued with their lives in the knowledge that this man had not been held responsible for his actions.
“It took great courage to agree to proceed with the prosecution and to attend court. These types of attacks are extremely rare but I hope this sends out the message that we will continue to bring offenders to justice no matter how long ago the crime.”
If you have any information relating to historic offences, contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101.