Innocent man jailed for rape watches on as real beast is locked up for life

Nick Reilly
Mark Dixie murdered Sally Ann Bowman in Croydon, south London, in 2005. (Picture: SWNS)

Murderer Mark Dixie has been handed two more life sentences for sex attacks on women in London in the presence of a man who was wrongly convicted for assaults Dixie carried out.

The verdict was delivered at Southwark Crown Court last Friday, witnessed by Romano van der Dussen who was wrongly convicted of three rapes in Fuengirola, Spain, in 2003.

Mr van der Dussen, 43, spent a staggering 12 years in jail, and was repeatedly attacked during his time behind bars, despite a lack of DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

If Dixie had been convicted in the first place, he would not have been able to go on to kill 18-year-old Sally Ann Bowman in Croydon, south London, in 2005.

Romano van der Dussen was wrongly convicted by sex attacks in Spain (Picture: REX)

Speaking after Dixie’s latest conviction for sex attacks, Mr van der Dussen said: ’It was hell what I suffered due to him.

‘I was looking at Dixie without blinking. He was looking like he was bored. I was thinking, “you have to feel something’, I couldn’t understand it, how can you not feel?”‘

Mr van der Dussen was originally implicated in Dixie’s crimes when he worked at a cocktail bar in Fuengirola to send money back to his family in the Netherlands.

Police arrested and charged him, despite no evidence linking him to the sex attacks.

‘I was the lowest of the low. They could beat me, spit on me. I had no voice. I was a cockroach’, he said of his time in prison.

The home where Sally Ann Bowman’s body was discovered (Picture: SWNS)

He was eventually released from prison when Dixie’s guilt was realised in February 2016 after he admitted to the crimes.

Mr Van der Dussen now lives in Mallorca, but still struggles to come to terms with the injustice he has suffered – having not seen his 17-year-old daughter since she was an infant.

 ‘I find myself crying a lot. For the grief of what happened to these women and Sally Anne’, he said. 

Dixie, 47, was given life sentences for raping a woman in a car park in 1987, and bludgeoning and indecently assaulting another woman in 2002.

His sentences will run concurrently and he will service a minimum of 28 years behind bars before being eligible to apply for parole in 2044.