Most serial attackers be they rapists or any other kind have a modus operandi
that relates somehow to their victims. Serial killer Peter Sutcliffe - the Yorkshire Ripper - killed mostly prostitutes; Dennis Nilsen killed young men - mostly but not exclusively homosexuals - he picked up in public houses.
Antoni Imiela had no such modus operandi
; if it was female, if it moved and if it was vulnerable, it was a potential target. His youngest victims were ten years old - one he raped, and another he indecently assaulted. His eldest known victim was 52; she was raped on Wimbledon Common in August 2002, where 10 years earlier, young mother Rachel Nickell was brutally murdered by sexual psychopath Robert Napper
Imiela had a difficult start to life; he was born in Germany but moved to the UK with his family while still a young boy, and although he was something of a delinquent there were no signs that he would become a danger to women. He had a young son but split up with the boy's mother, and in 1987, after losing his job, he decided crime would provide a better living. It certainly provided him with free board and lodging, earning him a 14 year gaol sentence
On Christmas Day, 1987, he attacked Sheila Jankowitz
at Forest Hill, and raped her, among other things. Unsurprisingly, Mrs Jankowitz suffered mental health issues for the rest of her life, which was to be sadly shortened by her murder in 2006. She did though report the assault at the time. Imiela handed himself in to the police shortly after that, for the armed robberies he had committed for purely financial reasons, not for the rape.
After his release from prison, Imiela might have made something of himself. He managed to obtain a well paid position as a railway engineer, married and was to all intents and purposes a good husband and stepfather.
Apart from the tragic Mrs Jankowitz , Imiela's first victim appears to have been the 10 year old girl he kidnapped and raped in Kent, but it is possible there were others before and between his arrest for the M25 rapes.
On March 4, 2004, he was given seven life sentences at Maidstone Crown Court; he pleaded not guilty, and his defence was, novel, to say the least, he claimed he was homosexual!
His latest conviction came about as a result of a cold case review. His defence this time was not that he was homosexual but that the victim had consented. Mrs Jankowitz was a 29 year old mother of two, and although she was not of course able to testify herself, the jury found her witness statement
and the other evidence compelling.
It may be argued that prosecuting a man who will never see daylight again anyway is a waste of taxpayers' money. Transporting him under heavy security from Wakefield Prison in Yorkshire to the Central Criminal Court in the City of London will have been a costly exercise in itself, but as with the recent case of Levi Bellfield
, there was a public interest in seeing justice done for the victim.