Man sentenced for rapes

Mick Ferris
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A man, who raped two women in their sleep has been sentenced to 13 years in prison following joint investigative work by Essex Police and Greater Manchester Police.

Shelton Tapfumaneyi, 24 of Champion Way, Oxford, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on March 10 for sentencing, after he was convicted of two counts of rape earlier this year.

Tapfumaneyi was first arrested by Greater Manchester Police in April 2019, after a woman reported that she had been raped following a night out in the city centre in March.

After being charged and released on court bail, he came to Essex Police’s attention in August 2020. A woman contacted Essex Police online to bravely disclose that she had been raped in Basildon. Tapfumaneyi was arrested the following day, on August 24.

An investigation by Essex Police’s Crime and Public Protection Team resulted in Tapfumaneyi being charged with one count of rape against a woman over 16. A decision was then made to join both charges together for the Essex and Manchester offences for the trial, which concluded in September with a guilty verdict.

He appeared at Basildon Crown Court last week where he was sentenced to 13 years in prison, of which he must serve a minimum of two thirds.

Detective Constable Patrick Snape, the investigating officer for the Essex investigation said: “In both cases, the victims were asleep and woke up to Tapfumaneyi raping them. He targeted two women at their most vulnerable and then tried to cover up his actions by repeatedly saying that both women had consented.

“Survivors of sexual assault are often led to believe that it’s the perpetrator’s word against theirs and they may be worried that they won’t be believed by their peers, family or the police. I can assure anyone who is a survivor of sexual abuse and hasn’t been able to come forward yet that you will be believed, and we will always investigate your case.

“I commend the bravery of both victims in this case for keeping strong throughout the investigation process. I hope that this result provides them with some closure on what they have been through.”

Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex. The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:

  • CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who cover mid and north Essex
  • SERICC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service) who cover South and West Essex
  • SOS Rape Crisis who cover Southend, Castle Point and Rochford

Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.

For more information about how to get support, visit their website: Sexual violence support and advice Essex (synergyessex.org.uk)

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk