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Greenwich rapist who made victim wash in canal jailed for 15 years

|News, Sexual offences

A rapist who followed his victim as she walked home from work has been jailed for 15 years and two months.

Wearing a ski mask Desmond Atumkeze, 23, asked ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ as he raped his 30-year-old victim by a canal in Thamesmead.

He told her he had a gun, and that he would kill her if she did not comply with his demands. Warning her against contacting the police, he said: “I’m local, I know your face, I know where you live.”

The victim had got off a bus and had been taking her usual shortcut home across a basketball court when Atumkeze marched her towards a concrete clearing near a canal at around 8.45pm on 8 November 2019. He made her take off her clothes and attacked her.

After raping his victim, Atumkeze made her wash in the cold and muddy canal, adding “hurry up, I don’t have all day”. He then took her phone and earpods before walking her back towards the route she had been on.

Today (Thursday, 11 June 2020) Atumkeze was sentenced to 15 years and two months in prison at Woolwich Crown Court. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and kidnapping. A count of theft was made to lie on file.

Police were able to identify Atumkeze through forensic swabs taken from the victim.

Analysis of Atumkeze’s phone later found he had researched the terms ‘rape kit,’ ‘rapists and condoms’ and ‘DNA profiling’.

Daniel Geller, from the CPS, said: “This was a horrific attack on a lone female who was simply returning home from work. The victim was in fear of her life and has since been left terrified to go out alone.

“Desmond Atumkeze had shown no remorse for his actions. In fact, during police interview he claimed to be a virgin and said that he was blind, and so could not have been responsible for the rape. But faced with the DNA and phone evidence against him, Atumkeze eventually changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

“This conviction will ensure he is finally held responsible for his actions and will spend a long time in prison where he will no longer be a threat to women. I hope the victim will take some comfort from this.

“Sexual crimes are of the utmost importance to the CPS and we will prosecute offenders where there is the evidence to do so.”

Notes to editors

  • Desmond Atumkeze (DOB: 23/03/1997) is from Thamesmead in the London borough of Greenwich
  • Daniel Geller is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London South.

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