Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Links between two rapes secure conviction and 15-year jail term of Shepherd’s Bush assailant

A man has been jailed after police investigating a rape recognised similarities in an account given by another victim from the previous year.

Simon Charles, 46, of Tamarisk Square, Shepherd’s Bush, was jailed for 15 years when he appeared for sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.

He previously appeared at the same court on March 13, where he was convicted of rape, attempted rape, two accounts of sexual assault by penetration and voyeurism.

Detective Constable Stephanie Clarke, who led the investigation, said: “I am pleased with the sentence handed to Charles, which is testimony to the hard work of investigating officers and the bravery of these women who have shown immense courage in supporting our investigation.

“We know victims are often reluctant to report these type of offences to police, for various reasons.

“In this case, had it not been for the first victim making her report in 2021, we may have never reached this conviction today.

“I sincerely hope this case proves just how important it can be to come forward to police. We have specially-trained officers and will do all we can to achieve a conviction regardless of the time that has passed.”

A woman contacted police in May 2021 alleging that a man known to her had attempted to rape her.

However, the victim later decided she did not wish to take the case forward and it was discontinued.

A second report was received in November, 2022 alleging that Charles had given cocaine and cannabis to a second victim before raping her at his home.

An investigation was launched and uncovered similarities between both victims’ accounts.

An officer contacted the first woman to explain that a review of her case was ongoing and they were determined to prosecute the man responsible, and she agreed to support the investigation.

She provided a video recorded interview where she further disclosed the same man had taken intimate photos of her without her consent while she slept.

As part of the subsequent investigation, officers obtained a wealth of evidence, including victim and witness statements, forensics and evidence of messages sent between the parties.

This uncovered that the suspect had built trust with both women, and encouraged them to go back to his address when they were intoxicated, claiming he would cook for them.

Both women felt vulnerable, and had felt they could trust Charles. They had both told Charles they did not want to have sex with him, but having fallen asleep, awoke to him sexually assaulting them.

Charles was arrested on February 7, 2023, and subsequently bailed with strict conditions ahead of the trial. He was charged the following day.

As well as his prison sentence, Charles was also issued with restraining orders forbidding him to contact the victims.

Under Clare’s Law, any person has the right to obtain information as to whether their partner or ex-partner has any previous history of violence or abuse. Click here for more information.

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