A DETECTIVE has commended the bravery of two people who were raped in their sleep by a man who then lied to “cover up his actions”.
Shelton Tapfumaneyi, 24, was jailed for 13 years following a joint investigation by Essex Police and Greater Manchester Police.
He came to the attention of Essex Police after a woman bravely disclosed she had been raped in Basildon.
It followed Tapfumaneyi being charged and released on court bail after he was alleged to have raped another woman after a night out in Manchester.
The defendant, of Champion Way, Oxford, denied two counts of rape but was convicted by a jury following a trial at Basildon Crown Court.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Patrick Snape has now hailed the victims’ bravery.
He said: “In both cases, the victims were asleep and woke up to this man raping them.
“He targeted two women at their most vulnerable and then tried to cover up his actions by repeatedly saying that both women had consented.
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“Survivors of sexual assault are often lead to believe that it’s the perpetrators word against theirs and they may be worried that they won’t be believed by their peers, family or the police.
“I can assure anyone who is a survivor of sexual abuse and hasn’t been able to come forward yet that you will be believed, and we will always investigate your case.
“I commend the bravery of both victims in this case for keeping strong throughout the investigation process.
“I hope that this result provides them with some closure on what they have been through.”