An unlicensed tattoo artist who “exploited and abused” a woman’s trust before raping her while she was unconscious at his flat has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Brazilian Dewal Dos Santos Silva, 37, of High Road, Wembley, was contacted by the victim, a woman in her mid-30s, who arranged to go to the flat to get a tattoo done on the evening of October 30, 2020.
While there she became groggy and lost consciousness before waking in the early hours of the following morning to find Dos Santos Silva raping her.
As the “distraught” woman went home after the attack, Dos Santos Silva sent a text apologising for “screwing up” and asking if she was angry with him.
He was arrested by police on November 3 of that year, claiming he could not remember what had happened, but officers had seized forensic evidence which would later prove his guilt.
Police say there is a “possibility” more victims are yet to come forward.
Dos Santos Silva was found guilty of rape at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday and was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment, with a further five years to be served on licence, the Metropolitan Police said.
A restraining order was also issued prohibiting him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly.
He was found not guilty of administering a substance with intent.
Detective Constable Ian Smith, North West Command Unit, said: “The victim somewhat trusted Dos Santos Silva as she had met him on a previous occasion for a piercing which went without incident.
“This time around he exploited and abused her trust in the most horrific way, making her feel uncomfortable with suggestive comments before going on to rape her.
“Her bravery and courage is remarkable and I hope Dos Santos Silva’s jailing goes some way to helping her move on to the next chapter in her life.
“It is a possibility that there are more victims of Dos Santos Silva who have yet to come forward. I would encourage anyone who may have been a victim to contact us.
“We will listen to you, we will investigate and take action.”