Stalker who targeted more than 100 victims over social media jailed
A stalker who created a ‘rape list’ with the names of 191 potential victims has been jailed for two years and eight months.
Vishaal Vijapura, 28, posted the list on Instagram and later created a post titled ‘Why r is better than sex: a thread’ in which he attempted to justify why he would prefer to rape someone rather than have consensual sex.
At Croydon Crown Court today (Tuesday, 14 June 2022) he was sentenced to two years and eight months in custody. A sexual harm prevention order was also successfully sought as well as a restraining order prohibiting him from directly or indirectly contacting any name on the list he had created for life. Vijapura had previously pleaded guilty to seven counts of stalking involving fear of violence at an earlier hearing at the same court.
Vijapura used multiple usernames across different social media platforms to anonymously stalk and message his victims. When he was blocked by a victim on one account, he would start another and use the new unknown account to continue to message them.
The investigation into Vijapura’s crimes found that his email was linked to at least 28 different social media accounts between June 2020 to January 2021 when he was arrested.
Police also found eight Excel spreadsheets with lists of 191 names, home addresses, genders, dates of birth, phone numbers, names of relatives and Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram usernames among his digital files. This information, which he had researched, was used to intimidate his victims by repeating details about themselves to them during the course of the offending. Police were able to find that of the 191 names, 150 were traceable real people.
A review of the Notes app on Vijapura’s mobile phone also found typed essays detailing sexual abuse and rape fantasies which he had sent out to some victims.
In one message to a victim he told her that he would rape her at her home address and film the assault so that it would go viral. He told another victim that his assault would render her “completely unconscious”. He sent a third victim laughing emojis after a graphic message.
Vijapura was caught after a number of victims made complaints to the police and officers managed to track him down from the IP address he used.
Helen Shaw, from the CPS, said: “Vishaal Vijapura carried out a shocking, truly frightening and vicious campaign of stalking against a number of victims. His conduct involved hiding behind a screen and anonymously using social media to threaten to inflict extreme and graphic sexual violence upon his victims.
“All of these victims were unknown to him, and yet Vijapura paid at least £500 to use research tools such as ancestry.co.uk and 192.com to find out about their lives and instil the fear of physical violence into them.
“The harmful impact upon his victims cannot be underestimated. Many of them described feeling petrified in their own homes as a result of Vijapura’s behaviour. His actions have also continued to have a significant impact upon their day-to-day lives in the long term.
“I would like to thank the victims for assisting with this large and complex investigation that has seen Vijapura held to account.
“Stalking can be deeply distressing, and the CPS is committed to working with the police to root out offenders and bring them before the courts to face justice.”
Notes to editors
- Helen Shaw is a District Crown Prosecutor within the Crown Court unit in CPS London South
- Vishaal Vijapura (DOB: 5/10/1993) is from Croydon.