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Security officer convicted of raping woman in Westminster car park

|News, Sexual offences

A security car patrol officer has been convicted of raping a woman in an empty Westminster car park while on duty.

Sola Warikwah, 39, sexually attacked the victim in the back of his company car after she mistakenly got in believing that he was a taxi driver who had come to pick her up.

The victim had been drinking in a nightclub in Bethnal Green before she arrived around the Embankment area in central London and encountered Warikwah in the early hours of Easter Monday on 22 April, 2019.

Warikwah worked as a security patrol manager for contractor Securitas and was tasked with visiting sites and patrolling areas of central London between 7pm on 21 April and 7am on 22 April last year. This included the car park in Belgravia where the victim was raped.

During her ordeal, the victim who was in her 20s, managed to send messages to a friend. She wrote: “I’ve been raped. I feel sick. This taxi won’t take me home.”

She later managed to get out of the car and took photographs of her assailant as he walked away. Warikwah was arrested at his home address in the Lewisham borough two days later.

On Friday, 18 September Warikwah was found guilty of one count of rape following a week-long trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Nahid Mannan, from the CPS, said: “This was an opportunistic sexual attack on a vulnerable victim who was trying to make her way home after a night out.

“Warikwah had patrolled the car park where he raped the victim just hours before - no doubt taking note that it was virtually deserted.

“During the trial Warikwah claimed that the sexual activity had been consensual and that the victim had instigated it. Using witness testimony and CCTV evidence the prosecution was able to prove that he was lying.

“Rape cases are some of the most complex and challenging offences to prosecute. I would like to pay tribute to the victim in this case who courageously supported the prosecution and gave evidence against her attacker.

“Warikwah will now spend a significant time in prison where he will no longer be a threat to women.”

He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 6 November 2020.

Notes to editors

  • Sola Warikwah (DOB: 31/07/1981) is from Deptford in the London borough of Lewisham
  • Nahid Mannan is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London South.

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