The grime artist Solo 45, whose real name is Andy Anokye, has been jailed for 24 years for holding four women against their will and raping them repeatedly.
His victims described how he beat and threatened them with weapons, held a cloth with bleach over their faces and waterboarded them, recording much of the abuse on his mobile phone.
The musician, who was part of the collective Boy Better Know, admitted in court that he liked to “terrorise” women, but insisted they always consented to his “rape game”.
However, when asked during cross-examination at Bristol crown court whether he ever continued to have sex when a woman had asked him to stop, Anokye initially said he “usually” did, before swiftly correcting himself to say “always”.
The videos he made of his crimes were so extreme and intimate that the public gallery was cleared when they were shown and, unusually, only two members of the media were allowed to view them.
Anokye was unanimously convicted of 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In impact statements the victims spoke of the deep, ongoing trauma they suffered. One said: “He tortured me for hours and in those moments I would’ve complied with anything for terror of him torturing or hurting me again.”
Another wrote: “I had nightmares for about two and a half years where I would regularly wake up screaming and crying.” And a third said: “He has ruined my life.”
The judge, William Hart, ordered Anokye to serve 24 years in prison and a further five years on licence. Hart told him he had “no sexual boundaries” or empathy for his victims, and that he had become addicted to the “perverted pleasure” he took from the abuse.
The judge said: “I’m entirely satisfied that your career as a music artist was flourishing at the time of this offending and that you would have gone to great heights. Your convictions have deprived you of that career, but the fault is yours alone.”
Jill MacNamara, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Today’s sentence reflects the severity of Anokye’s crimes and the risk he poses to women. I hope that it goes some way in providing all of these women with a sense that justice has been achieved.
“This was an incredibly complex case, involving the review of over 2m digital files. The commitment of the CPS to see this case through to its conclusion shows that we will not shy away from difficult cases.”
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