Plea as M25 rapist is jailed again
More potential victims of the M25 rapist have been urged to come forward after he was jailed for a violent sex attack carried out 25 years ago.
Antoni Imiela was sentenced to 12 years at the Old Bailey for the rape, indecent assault and buggery of Sheila Jankowitz. He grabbed her off the street near her south east London flat in the early hours of Christmas Day 1987, threatening to kill her if she called out and punching her repeatedly when she resisted.
Fourteen years after the chilling attack, Imiela staged a series of rapes across the south of England on victims as young as 10 - earning him the sobriquet "the M25 rapist". Met officers have now appealed for other women who fear they may have fallen prey to Imiela to come forward.
Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Detective Inspector John Foulkes said: "Imiela was convicted in 2004 for a series of stranger rapes across the Home Counties. It's likely that the police are unaware of all his offending. I appeal to the public, and in particular anyone who is a potential victim of his in the late 1980s or between 1996 and 2002, to come forward."
Imiela pounced on mother-of-two Mrs Jankowitz, who was then 31, near her flat in Forest Hill as she went to look for her husband after a row. She died in 2006 but her mother-in-law, former husband and daughter all went through the ordeal of giving evidence in the trial.
During his evidence, Imiela cynically said he had "made love" to Mrs Jankowitz. Passing sentence, Judge John Bevan QC told him: "You are wholly unrepentant about your life of guns, rape and general violence... you have not expressed one jot of remorse."
Andrew Hadik, special casework lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in London, said: "This was a very serious allegation with strong evidence. It was important that it be put before a jury and that the defendant be held to account for the crimes he had committed.
"This attack had a devastating effect upon the victim's life and sadly justice could not be secured whilst she was alive. However, her family have provided great assistance to this prosecution and I hope that they find some comfort in this conviction."
Detective Constable Claire Watts said Mrs Jankowitz was so traumatised by the attack that she became a changed woman.
She said: "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 the result. 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."