After 21 years, a breakthrough in DNA technology has led to the capture and conviction of a rapist for a crime committed in 1999. Abdul Basith, now imprisoned, carried out a sexual assault on 6 March 1999 after encountering his victim in Leicester Square, Central London.
The woman, then in her 20s, attempted to hail a taxi home after a night out but was struggling due to insufficient funds. Basith approached her, offering a ride home, which she accepted. During the journey, he stopped in a small car park and assaulted her. The ordeal continued near Bethnal Green, East London, where he again stopped, locked the car doors, and subjected her to further rape and assault.
After the attack, the victim attempted to note the car’s number plate but was pushed to the ground by Basith. A passer-by later found her distressed and assisted her to a police station. Despite an extensive initial investigation, Basith eluded capture at that time.
The case took a turn in 2020 when Basith, now 52 and residing in Upton Park, was arrested for a separate incident. This led to his DNA being entered into the system, which matched the DNA evidence from the 1999 case. This match prompted a reopening and thorough investigation of the case.
Basith was subsequently arrested, charged, and found guilty of rape and sexual assault on 23 June at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He received his sentence on 6 November. Additionally, he faced charges for an indecent assault in Bethnal Green related to an incident from over two decades ago.
Detective Constable Amy Laybourn from Central Specialist Crime commented on the case, stating, “The victim endured a horrendous experience that has stayed with her for many years. It took decades, but Basith was finally brought to justice, hopefully offering the victim closure. The Metropolitan Police remains dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls, and we assure victims that we will provide specialist support and tirelessly work to prosecute offenders.”
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