M25 serial rapist Antoni Imiela guilty of Forest Hill rape in 1987

12:49 22 March 2012

Antoni Imiela

Antoni Imiela

A violent sex attacker who staged a series of rapes on victims as young as 10 was today found guilty of raping a complete stranger more than a decade earlier.

Antoni Imiela was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey of raping Sheila Jankowitz in the early hours of Christmas Day, 1987.

The 57-year-old was also found guilty of indecent assault and buggery.

Imiela’s merciless attack on Sheila Jankowitz was the precursor of a series of violent stranger rapes that he committed more than a decade later.

Those attacks led to him being dubbed ‘the M25 rapist.’

Imiela grabbed Mrs Jankowitz off the street, dragged her behind a shed and threatened to kill her before he attacked her, punching her repeatedly when she tried to resist.

He pounced on the mother of two, who was then 31, near her flat in Forest Hill, south east London, as she went to look for her husband after a row.

She died in 2006, but her mother-in-law, former husband and daughter all went through the ordeal of giving evidence in the trial.

Erwin Jankowitz told the court he was distraught to discover that the attack had taken place so near to where they lived, and his wife heard him walk past during the assault.

He said: “That really upset me, because the shed was so close, two metres away. I could have stopped it happening but as he had his hand over her mouth restraining it, she couldn’t call out.”

Daughter Charlene remembered that she was supposed to be in bed, and looked downstairs through the banisters to see her mother with blood on her clothes, saying she had been raped.

During his evidence, Imiela cynically said he had “made love” to Mrs Jankowitz, and at one point he hurled abuse at prosecutor Richard Hearnden, calling him a “jumped up little c***”.

He also made veiled references to mental health problems that Mrs Jankowitz had suffered after the merciless attack.

Imiela, of no fixed address, was found guilty of rape, indecent assault and buggery.

Fourteen years after the sickening assault on Mrs Jankowitz, he began a series of similar violent sex attacks on girls and women he had never met.

Again he grabbed them, dragged them into a secluded area, threatened to kill them and hit them.

In 2004 he was given seven life sentences for the rapes, with a minimum term of eight years - meaning he became eligible for parole this month.

His victims included girls aged 10, 13 and 14, as well as women up to the age of 52, but the jury in the current case was not told how old they were.

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