M25 rapist gets 12 more years for 1987 attack

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More potential victims of the M25 rapist have been urged to come forward after he was jailed for a violent sex attack in 1987.

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 London flat in the early hours of Christmas Day 1987, threatening to kill her if she called out and punching her repeatedly.

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 nickname “the M25 rapist”.

Police officers appealed for other women who 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 looked 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: “I find this case saddening, not only because Sheila Jankowitz’s life was blighted from at least 1990 onwards by mental illness until her murder in 2006, but I also find your approach saddening, surprising as it may seem.

“I disagree with (prosecutor) Mr (Richard) Hearnden’s suggestion that you hate women, on what I have heard in this trial... you seem to me to have a dislike of humanity in general.”

He went on: “You are wholly unrepentant about your life of guns, rape and general violence and, despite having served eight years of your life sentence, you have not expressed one jot of remorse.”

Imiela was given seven life sentences in 2004 for his chilling campaign of rapes, with a minimum term of eight years – meaning he became eligible for parole earlier this month.

His victims included girls aged 10, 13 and 14, as well as women up to the age of 52, but the jury in the latest case was not told how old they were.

Andrew Hadik, special casework lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in London, said afterwards: “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: ““This latest conviction shows that his offending dates back even further.

“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.

“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.”