Shropshire Star

Brave victims see Telford rapist jailed for 12 years after he went on the run in Europe

A brutal rapist who wrecked the lives of his two female victims has been jailed for 12 years after going on the run in Europe to escape justice.

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Jailed: Albert Okyere

Arthur Okyere, from Telford, offered two drunk female friends a lift home from the Arcadian entertainment venue in Birmingham, in November, 2015, but then drove to a deserted industrial estate and subjected them to a sickening sexual attack.

Okyere was finally jailed for 12 years at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday after being found guilty of four counts of rape during a trial in November.

Okyere, of Ash Lea Drive, Donnington, Telford, had previously been convicted of voyeurism after repeatedly spying on a woman in a gym shower and for viciously attacking the mother of his children.

The 37-year-old was only brought to justice due to the bravery of his two victims who gave evidence against him, and detectives who carried out a European arrest warrant.

Before Okyere was sentenced, the two women, now in their 20s, outlined the devastating impact his crimes has had on their lives as he sat in the dock.

One victim said: "There is not a night I have not thought about what happened to us. I think about how that night could have turned out differently. There have been times when I have thought suicide was the only way to deal with the mental scars I suffered from that night.

Okyere offered his two drunk victims a lift home from The Arcadian

"I have self harmed and need sleeping tablets to fall asleep. I blame myself, and think so many things in my life would have been different had that night have turned out differently."

Okyere's other victim, who was "drunker than she had ever been" and in a "world of her own" in the back seat before Okyere attacked her, told the court how she remained scared of him for years.

Crying between her sentences, she said: "What was worse was not knowing your whereabouts for years, knowing you were out there. I felt scared."

After absconding abroad for over five years, when Okyere was forcibly brought back to the UK he was given bail and allowed to live in Donnington for the last two years. Before fleeing the country, Okyere was believed to have been living in the Black Country.

The second victim added: "I was a confident young woman starting her journey in life before that night but after, I went into my shell. I have lost trust in people, I had to see my doctor, to be given medication. I now want the freedom to get on with my life."

Justice John Butterfield described Okyere as a risk to women who continued to blame his victims even after conviction and needed to be jailed despite the pressure on Britain's prison system.

He said Okyere had been aggressive and indifferent to his victims and did not use a condom, risking the spread of a sexually-transmitted disease.

The judge told Okyere: "You targeted two vulnerable young women who were intoxicated. Then, after the attack you dropped them home in the hope it would make what you had done look consensual.

"But you underestimated their resilience and when you realised the strength of the evidence you fled the country.

"Your pre-sentence report showed you have shown no regret, and continued to victim blame. You are a significant risk to women."

Justice Butterfield sentenced Okyere to 12 years and a further two on licence. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.

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