M25 Rapist Found Guilty Of A Further Rape In 1987

Anthoni Imiela is already serving a life sentence for a rape on Putney Heath & Epsom


Anthoni Imiela

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A man currently serving a life sentence for a series of rapes across the Home Counties has been further convicted for a rape dating back more than 20 years following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Cold Case Sapphire Team.

Known as the 'M25 rapist' after committing a spate of sexual assaults earlier this decade including a rape on Putney Heath had been jailed in 2004. 57 year old Anthoni Imiela, was found guilty today, 22 March, at The Old Bailey after being produced from prison following a review of the historical offence which took place in south London in 1987.

He was also today sentenced to a total of 12 years for the attack: Six years for rape, six years for indecent assault, to run concurrently, and six years for buggery to run consecutively.

Officers were able to make a match to Imiela after DNA taken from that crime scene was subjected to additional testing, possible as a result of advances in forensic capabilities.

The then 29-year-old victim of the attack, which occurred on Christmas Day, was grabbed by Imiela as she left her home address in SE26. He dragged her behind a nearby shed before subjecting her to a vicious and violent attack, telling her: "Don't look at me or I'll kill you."

During the attack he held a brick inches from the victim's face before covering her eyes with his hand. When she attempted to fight him off Imiela punched her repeatedly to the side of her face.

Following the ordeal, Imiela instructed her to not look at him, before getting up and running away. The victim was able to make her way home where she alerted family who contacted police.

Despite numerous inquiries by detectives at the time, no suspects were identified. Although samples were retrieved and submitted, there was insufficient material to provide a DNA profile. It wasn't until the samples were upgraded in 2009 in line with present day DNA techniques that Imiela was identified as the suspect.

DC Claire Watts, who despite now working in the Police Central e-Crime Unit has remained committed to this investigation, said:
"Imiela was a particularly dangerous and predatory rapist, well known as the M25 rapist for the numerous offences he committed across the Home Counties. T
his latest conviction shows that his offending dates back even further; and is testamant to the commitment of the Sapphire Cold Case Team to pursue those individuals responsible for historical rapes and sexual offences, regardless of whether they are already in the justice system.

"It is extremely sad that the victim is no longer alive to witness justice served, but I hope her family and friends will take some comfort from today's result. We recognise that rape not only affects victims and their families in the immediate aftermath, but has serious long-lasting effects. In this particular case the victim's mental health was severely affected to such a degree that she essentially became a changed woman following the incident. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to any further potential victims to come forward. The Cold Case Team can be contacted on 0207 161 1034."

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