A man has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for raping a woman in Bethnal Green in 1999, after a DNA match allowed officers to reopen the case.
Abdul Basith, 52, of Upton Park, was arrested over an unrelated incident in 2020. His DNA was then matched with DNA from the unsolved rape case.
The victim, who was in her 20s at the time of the assault, was struggling to find a taxi home after realising she didn’t have enough money on her, following a night out in Leicester Square in March 1999. Basith offered her a lift home, despite her being unable to pay him.
After accepting Basith’s offer, Basith stopped the car in a car park and assaulted her. He then continued driving, after locking the doors to prevent her escaping.
He then stopped the car for a second time close to Bethnal Green, where despite the victim shouting and fighting back, raped and assaulted her again.
Eventually, Basith pushed her out of the car. She was found by a passerby who took her to a nearby police station.
Even though the victim was not able to get the vehicle’s plate number when Basith drove off, the Metropolitan Police carried out an “extensive investigation” in 1999. They were unable to trace the perpetrator.
Basith was found guilty earlier this year following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court; he was sentenced on November 6.
Detective Constable Amy Laybourn, of Central Specialist Crime, said: “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.”
She added: “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.”