A grime artist has been convicted of holding four women against their will and repeatedly raping them.
Andy Anokye, 33, who performs under the stage name Solo 45, was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 30 charges relating to a two-year period.
He was unanimously convicted of 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The musician, who was part of the grime collective Boy Better Know, did not react as the jury of seven women and five men returned the verdicts following 10 hours and 55 minutes of deliberations.
Judge William Hart adjourned sentencing for a date to be fixed and ordered a psychiatric report to be carried out on the defendant.
He told the jury: “It is almost four months since we first met here to try this lengthy indictment.
“You have had to listen to and indeed watch some extremely graphic evidence and make very important decisions in the lives of all those concerned.
“I am very grateful to you. It is finally over.
“I will sentence Mr Anokye on a date that is convenient to counsel.”
Judge Hart excused the panel from jury service in the future and paid tribute to how they had listened to “quite disturbing” evidence during the trial.
The court heard the four complainants have made victim personal statements, describing the impact of Anokye’s offences on them.
During the trial, graphic video clips – filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone – were played to the jury.
A man who assaulted, tortured and threatened to kill four women he falsely imprisoned and violently sexually assaulted has been convicted of a total of 30 offences, including 21 counts of rape. https://t.co/Bg1jCuZLwA pic.twitter.com/kJtVg2KuYa— Avon and Somerset Police - #StayHomeSaveLives (@ASPolice) March 11, 2020
In the footage, Anokye is seen interrogating the women about previous sexual partners, slapping them, insulting them and raping them.
One clip showed a woman crying and saying “I hate you”, with the musician laughing and making a thumbs-up sign to the camera.
Anokye, who was signed to Island Records, was described as a “violent, controlling narcissist and a bully” by prosecutors during the case.
Jurors heard how he derived sexual pleasure from torturing the women by water-boarding, interrogating, assaulting and raping them.
The musician spoke of dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears – and enjoyed playing a game he called “Catch me, Rape me”.
I hope today’s verdicts bring some solace to the victims in this case who have suffered unimaginable horrorsDet Ch Insp Neil Rice of Avon and Somerset Police
He forced one woman to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, held a shotgun to the head of another woman and made one sit with a bottle of water tied to her finger with a shoelace.
Police launched an investigation in 2017 after a woman claimed she had been raped at Anokye’s waterfront apartment in Bristol.
Following his arrest, police examined videos and images on three mobile phones, an external hard drive and a laptop found at the apartment.
They contacted further women and four came forward with complaints of abuse at his hands.
A fifth woman also gave evidence against Anokye during the trial but jurors heard he could not be charged with alleged offences against her, as they took place abroad.
The commitment of the CPS to see this case through to its conclusion after three years and two separate trials shows that we will not shy away from difficult casesJill MacNamara
She described how Anokye had forced a mobile phone down her throat, hit her repeatedly over the head with a knife and raped her after she had attempted to escape from him.
Anokye grew up on the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham, London, but had a flat in Bristol.
He was remanded in custody, where he has been since his arrest, following the jury’s verdicts.
Speaking after the case, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rice of Avon and Somerset Police said: “I hope today’s verdicts bring some solace to the victims in this case who have suffered unimaginable horrors.
“Our focus will remain on supporting them as we have done for almost three years since this investigation began, and we will continue to do so through to sentencing and beyond.”
Mr Rice described the case as “one of the largest and most complex” the force had ever undertaken, due to the amount of digital material involved.
This included 2.3 million digital items – such as images, video clips, text messages and internet searches.
The verdicts followed almost three years of legal proceedings.
Anokye was first due to stand trial in April 2018 but this did not go ahead for legal reasons.
A second trial began in January 2019 but was halted in February after just one and a half days of evidence in five weeks.
This was partly due to disclosure issues, including almost 90,000 files taken from Anokye’s devices being discovered in a folder.
A third trial was due to begin on November 11 last year but the case was not opened to the jury until 10 days later as Anokye had hired a new legal team.
Jill MacNamara, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “We were able to prove that Anokye was a violent, controlling narcissist and bully who took pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering upon his victims.
“He filmed many of his attacks on his mobile phone and this footage, along with the brave testimony of his victims, created a compelling case against him.”
She said Anokye’s threats to the women and “the fear he elicited” made it obvious they did not consent to sexual activity with him.
“The commitment of the CPS to see this case through to its conclusion after three years and two separate trials shows that we will not shy away from difficult cases,” she said.
“We want every victim of rape to have the confidence that where there is sufficient evidence, the CPS will prosecute.”