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Antoni Imiela dead: M25 rapist who was given seven life sentences dies while being considered for parole

Chris Baynes
The Independent
Antoni Imiela was to be considered for parole: PA

A notorious serial sex attacker known as the M25 rapist has died behind bars, months after it emerged it was being considered for release.

Antoni Imiela, 63, was reportedly rushed to hospital with heart problems after falling ill at HMP Wakefield on Thursday.

He was given seven life sentences with a minimum term of eight years in 2004 after being convicted of a series of assaults across the Home Counties on women and girls as young as 10.

Eight years later he received a further 12 years after his DNA matched the suspect in an unsolved 1987 sex attack.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed in January that Imiela, of Appledore, near Ashford in Kent, had been referred for a parole review. It came after John Worboys, the so-called black cab rapist, was told he would be freed from an indefinite jail term after serving less than years for drugging and sexually assaulting passengers.

The Prison Service confirmed Imiela’s death, which is not being treated as suspicious.

The Daily Mirror reported the former railway worker had been suffering from heart problems.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

Between November 2001 and October 2002, Imiela waged a campaign of sex attacks against strangers across the South East, earning him the notorious “M25 rapist” moniker.

He grabbed his victims and dragged them into a secluded area, where he threatened to kill them, raped them, and beat them.

He was eventually convicted of raping four women and three girls aged from 10 to 52, with his DNA then lodged on a police database.

A cold case review into a 1987 Christmas Day sex attack found a match between the victim, 31-year-old Sheila Jankowitz, and Imiela.

Imiela was sentenced to 12 years at the Old Bailey in March 2013 after being found guilty of rape, indecent assault and another serious sex offence against the mother-of-two, who died in 2006.

Additional reporting by PA


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