DNA linking Westminster rape from six years ago to another in east London

Police investigating two linked rapes carried out four years apart are appealing for information and assistance from the public.

The offences, both rapes of women during the early hours, took place miles apart – in Westminster in 2018 and Shoreditch in 2022.

Forensic work by detectives has established that the same, as yet unidentified, man is responsible for both crimes, and officers are keen to hear from any further potential victims, as well as anyone who believes they may know the attacker.

DI Chris Heathcote, responsible for investigating rape and serious offences in east London, said: “These two offences were initially investigated by separate teams given the distance between the two incidents, however we have since been able to forensically link the same individual to both offences.

“Given the four-year gap, we must assume that it’s highly likely the suspect has carried out further attacks. A review of all unsolved rapes for this time period has identified no links to these two offences, but I would appeal to anyone who feels they have been a victim to come forward.”

CCTV footage from Shoreditch shows the man at the centre of the appeals (Picture: The Met)

Media appeals were issued following both incidents, however the suspect remains unidentified.

The first offence took place at around 2.50am on Saturday, May 5, 2018 near The Strand.

Significant enquiries were carried out by officers in an attempt to identify the suspect, including detailed analysis of hours of CCTV footage. An E-fit previously released in connection with this offence is being reissued.

During the second incident, the victim was raped in the early hours of Saturday, December 10, 2022 in Curtain Road, Shoreditch.

A CCTV image of a man officers want to speak to in connection with the investigation was released to the public and detectives are now releasing the related moving footage.

The investigation team continues to carry out a number of enquiries in relation to the wider investigation, including further testing of the DNA samples which linked the two incidents.

DI Heathcote added: “The suspect involved in both incidents appears to target lone women in the night time economy.

“I understand there will be concern that this individual remains outstanding, but can offer every assurance that we are taking all possible steps to ensure he is found and brought to justice for these awful crimes.

“If you believe you have been a victim or recognise the man from any of the material released please come forward. Any information – no matter how small – could help us with our investigation.”

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation team is asked to contact 101 quoting CAD 6163/26MAR24.

Pictured top: Re-issued E-Fit of the man police want to find (Picture: The Met)

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