Life sentence for Walthamstow serial rapist and murderer

A man has been sentenced for carrying out a “horrific” series of rapes in Walthamstow that culminated in murder.

Aman Vyas, 36, of no fixed address was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, August, 20 to life in prison.

He was recommended to serve 37 years, less time already served in custody, both in England and in India, making his time to serve from sentencing as 34 years 312 days.

He was also sentenced as follows:

– For grievous bodily harm with intent: 14 years;
– For the rape of a woman: 16 years and five months;
– For the rape of a second woman: 18-and-a-half years;
– For the rape of a third woman: 18-and-a-half years;
– For the rape of Michelle: 18-and-a-half years.

All these sentences are to run concurrent with the sentence for murder.

Vyas had been found guilty on Thursday, July 30 after a trial at the Old Bailey.

He was convicted of the rape and murder of Michelle Samaraweera and the rape of three other women.

The offences took place at locations across Walthamstow between 24 March 2009 and 30 May 2009.

In addition to being found guilty of murdering Michelle, Vyas was found guilty of one count of section 18 grievous bodily harm with intent.

The case officer, Detective Sergeant Shaleena Sheikh, said: “We are pleased with today’s sentence which reflects the gravity of Vyas’s crimes. At last the victims and their families have seen the man responsible for such terrible crimes brought to justice. This is a long sentence that recognises the cruelty and depravity of Vyas’s actions.

“Vyas carried out horrific and violent attacks on three women which, tragically, culminated in the murder of Michelle Samaraweera. He then did all he could to evade responsibility for his crimes and fled to India. He added further distress to those he hurt by subjecting them to a trial. I would like to commend the dignity and bravery shown by his victims and their families throughout this process, which has lasted more than 10 years.

“The Met has worked tirelessly to bring this case to court. We would like to thank the public for assisting us with our enquiries and all those who voluntarily gave DNA samples. This enabled us to quickly eliminate suspects, concentrate on other lines of enquiry and ultimately identify Vyas sooner. We would also like to commend the man who recognised the suspect as a former employee and contacted police. The information he provided was imperative to the investigation and helped build the case against Vyas. It goes to show that any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could be vital.

“Vyas preyed on women and his crimes were of a brutal nature. We hope today brings at least some peace to the victims and their families. The Met will always support victims of sexual assault or violent crime and this case show our determination in bringing those responsible to justice.“

Michelle’s sister Ann, said: “Aman Vyas has had over 11 years to come clean and admit to raping and murdering my sister, and even longer to admit to all the other heinous crimes committed against all the other innocent victims. He has also had all this time to reflect on his own life and address the issues that have turned him into the monster that he is but he didn’t. Instead he has lied and fabricated stories for his own benefit. He will never understand what he put my mother, sisters, children, loved ones, friends and myself through. 

“Michelle was always so thoughtful when it came to buying gifts for anyone, my daughter still has the beautiful blanket she gave her and she has slept with it every day up until now. One week before my daughter’s first birthday, I stayed up all night making colourful paper chains for her upcoming birthday party, only to wake up the next day to find out that my baby sister had been found dead in a children’s playground. Vyas has no idea what impact this has had on mine and my children’s lives.

“I hope one day Vyas finds it in his heart to confess and truly be sorry for the pain inflicted on the innocent women he violated. They are the ones that are serving life sentences. Vyas potentially spending the rest of his life in prison is not a punishment but a privilege, it will never be enough.”

Vyas was found not guilty of one count of possession of a bladed weapon.

Mick Ferris

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