‘Cruel’ rapist who targeted lone women in the dark caught by DNA

·2-min read
Stock image of a police officer (PA)
Stock image of a police officer (PA)

A “cruel” rapist who attacked a homeless woman and said no one would care if she reported it has been jailed for 16 years.

Mohammed Tarik, 21, from Bayswater in Westminster, spent more than an hour following and trying to talk to the homeless victim in central London before violently attacking her near St Thomas’ Hospital in 2019.

She was left with a bloodied and bruised face. After the rape, which lasted 30 minutes, Tarik told her no one would believe her or help her if she reported it because she was homeless.

CCTV footage capturing Tarik was featured on Crimewatch but the appeal did not lead to him being identified as the attacker.

Two years later Tarik again attempted to chat up another woman walking through Bayswater in the evening on 30 October 2021.

When the victim tried to get away he tried to drag her into an alleyway. He attempted to overpower her by putting his hands around her neck and applying pressure.

Tarik was disturbed by passers-by and tried to run away, taking the victim’s phone. He was caught by members of the public who called the police. He was linked to the first rape by DNA records, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

On Friday at Southwark Crown Court he was sentenced to 16-and-a half years imprisonment.

He had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, assault by occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by penetration in relation to the 2019 attack.

Also, he previously pleaded guilty to assault by occasioning actual bodily harm and robbery in relation to the 2021 incident.

Carly Loftus, from the CPS, said: “Mohammed Tarik targeted women when they were most vulnerable – while they were alone and in the dark. His attacks were vicious and in retaliation to his advances being rejected.

“Tarik raped his first victim for 30 minutes in a prolonged and sustained assault before cruelly telling her that no one would care about her because she was homeless.

“The prosecution case included DNA evidence obtained during the first attack. After Tarik was caught for the second attack, he provided a DNA sample to police which was found to match the DNA in the rape case from two years before. This forensic link meant Tarik had nowhere to turn.

“These victims have suffered severe mental trauma as a result of Tarik’s behaviour. The first victim felt she could no longer live in this country and moved back to her native country. I hope these convictions give the victims some sense of closure in the knowledge that justice has been served.”

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