DNA 'snared rapist 20 years later'
A serial sex attacker violently raped a complete stranger and was traced through his DNA more than 20 years later, a court has heard.
Antoni Imiela, 57, is accused of a "terrifying" assault on Sheila Jankowitz near her flat in south-east London in the early hours of Christmas Day 1987.
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden told jurors at the Old Bailey that the attack was "a horrific ordeal suffered by Mrs Jankowitz at the hands of a complete stranger".
Years after the alleged assault Imiela went on to commit a series of seven rapes for which he was convicted in 2004.
Mr Hearnden told the jury: "He was linked to each of those rapes by the presence of his DNA... The prosecution say therefore it would be an extraordinary coincidence for Mrs Jankowitz to have fabricated an allegation of rape against a totally innocent man, a man with whom she had enjoyed consensual sex and a man who we now know later went on to rape seven other females in similar circumstances."
Mrs Jankowitz - who died in 2006 - had been to the pub with her husband Erwin on Christmas Eve in 1987 but the couple had an argument and went their separate ways.
She returned home to their Forest Hill flat to see if he was there and finding he was not, decided to go out again by herself. As she walked towards the main road Imiela grabbed her, put his hand over her mouth, dragged her onto wasteground and sexually assaulted her, the court heard.
He threatened her with a brick, said he would kill her and repeatedly punched her in the face, jurors were told. After the attack Mrs Jankowitz's mother-in-law Jill Stevens said her clothes were dishevelled and had blood and grass stains on them and her face was bruised.
The attacker stopped her from looking at his face during the attack, it is claimed, but more than two decades later a cold case team matched Imiela's DNA to the alleged rape.
Imiela, originally from Appledore near Ashford in Kent, denies rape, indecent assault and buggery.