A man has been jailed for rape after a DNA hit enabled officers to solve a historic case from 1999.
Abdul Basith, 52 of Upton Park, London, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for the rape and indecent assault of a woman in Bethnal Green. He was caught after his arrest for an unrelated matter led officers to re-open the rape case.
Detective Constable Amy Laybourn, of Central Specialist Crime, said: “This woman suffered a terrible ordeal which she has lived with for many years. It has taken several decades for Basith to be brought to justice but thankfully that has finally happened, and we hope it has brought the victim the closure she deserves.
“The Met is committed to tackling violence against women and girls, and I want to assure any victims who make a report they will receive specialist support and police will do all we can to bring offenders to justice.”
Basith targeted a woman, in her 20s, as she tried to get a taxi home following a night out in Leicester Square on 6 March 1999. She was struggling to find a cab as she did not have enough money on her. Basith then approached the victim and said he would drive her home regardless. The victim agreed and got into the car with him.
At some point during the journey, Basith stopped the car in a small car park where he assaulted the woman. Basith resumed driving but stopped again when he got close to Bethnal Green. He locked the doors of the car so the victim could not get out and raped and assaulted her again, despite her shouting and fighting back.
After eventually letting her go, the victim tried to see the car’s number plate but Basith pushed her away and she ended up on the ground. He then drove off. The victim was found in a distressed state by a passer-by who took her to a police station.
Officers carried out an extensive investigation at the time but were unable to trace Basith. However, years later in 2020, he was arrested for an unrelated matter. This meant his DNA was placed into the system – and it matched DNA submitted from the rape.
The case was then reopened and investigated. Basith was arrested and charged and was found guilty on 23 June following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Sentencing took place on Monday, 6 November.