A man who committed a string of serious sexual offences against women in Camden has been jailed for life.
Francis Mukendi, 27 (29.08.94), of Finsbury Park Road, N4 was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 15 years’ imprisonment at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday, 29 April.
He was found guilty, following a six-week trial, of four counts of rape, three counts of attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault and four counts of possession of a bladed article at the same court on Tuesday, 22 March.
He committed offences against six women, aged between 20 and 32. They all lived around the Camden area.
Chief Superintendent Andy Carter, responsible for local policing in Camden, said: “I would like to thank the victims for their continued bravery and commitment to support this investigation over a considerable period of time. I would like to pay tribute to them for providing crucial evidence to ensure Mukendi cannot subject others to such horrific attacks.
“He is an extremely dangerous offender who targeted these women as they walked home alone in the dark, waiting for the most opportune of moments before making his attacks. They have been left traumatised by what has happened to them.”
The court heard that Mukendi carried out the attacks over a two-year period, between 21 September 2017 and 16 December 2019. He followed each of his victims late at night and when they were alone as they walked home in the Camden area.
The attacks took place once the victims reached their doorsteps or communal stairwells. Whilst distracted when getting their keys out, Mukendi would approach them from behind with a weapon – on one occasion with a hammer and on others with a knife. He would then force them to perform oral sex on him.
Once he had finished, or was interrupted, he would run away. All the victims reported the attacks to police immediately.
Each attack was within a short walk of each other and a short distance from Mukendi’s home address.
Following the first attack on 21 September 2017 detectives launched an investigation. The team completed extensive enquiries but to no avail. There were then further similar attacks in 2018 and again despite a thorough investigation a suspect was not apprehended. A breakthrough came when officers released the CCTV image captured of the suspect to the media on 21 December 2020. On seeing his own image, Mukendi handed himself into police the following day.
When detectives searched Mukendi’s home address, they found clothing which matched that seen being worn by the suspect in the CCTV. A laptop was also seized and later examined by forensic experts. Mukendi was digitally aware and had attempted to delete video footage he recorded of the attack on 21 September 2017, but this was recovered.
A zombie knife and a lock knife believed to be used in the attacks were also recovered from his home address. Mukendi was subsequently charged and remanded in custody.
Chief Superintendent Carter added: “The Met is absolutely committed to doing everything we can to keep women and girls safe, and to ensure they feel safe. Working with our partners across the criminal justice system, we are determined to bring offenders to justice. We will prioritise action against sexual and violent, predatory offenders.
“We would continue to urge anyone who has been a victim of a similar attack to speak to us directly by quoting CAD1639/21MAR22. We have specially trained officers who will help and support you.
“Alternatively contact us through a third party support group such as The Havens or London Survivors Gateway who offer a 24/7 urgent advice number if you need to speak with someone for the first time.”