'Camden doorstep rapist' jailed for life after attacking six women at knifepoint

3 May 2022, 15:09 | Updated: 3 May 2022, 16:35

A TikTok rapper has been jailed for life after sexually assaulting six women at knifepoint
A TikTok rapper has been jailed for life after sexually assaulting six women at knifepoint. Picture: Met police

By Megan Hinton

A TikTok rapper has been jailed for life after sexually assaulting six women at knifepoint in the stairwells and hallways of their apartment buildings in North London.

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The "extremely dangerous" predator nicknamed the "Camden Doorstep Rapist" was locked up for a minimum of 15 years after a jury found him guilty of a string of rape crimes across a two-year period.

Francis Mukendi, of Finsbury Park Road, attacked at least six women in Camden, London, during a two-year spree from September 2017 to December 2019.

Wood Green Crown Court heard how Mukendi would follow his lone female victims in the dark before pouncing on them in shadowed stairwells and hallways and threatening them with knifes and a hammer.

The "forensically and digitally aware" 27-year-old then would then attack the women and "once he had finished, or was interrupted, he would run away".

Police fear Mukendi, who filmed at least one of his assaults, may have attacked other victims after they reviewed more than 100 hours of CCTV footage and found images of other women on his phone and laptop.

Officers have now launched an appeal for potential new victims to come forward.

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Mukendi was found guilty following a six-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court
Mukendi was found guilty following a six-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

Mukendi 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.

He committed offences against six women, aged between 20 and 32, who 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.

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Mukendi was jailed for a minimum of 15 years
Mukendi was jailed for a minimum of 15 years. Picture: Met police

"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."

The predator was able to avoid capture for two years by knowing the position of CCTV camera in the area and wearing gloves to stop his fingerprints being traced.

The rapper had even revealed on his YouTube channel that he was feeling "stressed" because he had not had consensual sex.

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.

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Mukendi handed himself into police after a CCTV image of him was released to media
Mukendi handed himself into police after a CCTV image of him was released to media. Picture: Met police

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.

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."

Melissa Garner, from the CPS, said: "Francis Mukendi is a sexual predator, he preyed on women walking home alone at night.

"These victims were all attacked when they were mere feet away from the safety of their own homes. They were terrified and forced to comply when threatened by Mukendi with a knife and in one instance a hammer.

"The prosecution case included CCTV evidence of Mukendi following a number of his victims home and TikTok music videos created by Mukendi showing the knives used in the attacks.

"A laptop belonging to Mukendi was also found under his bed which contained a video of one of the rapes he had filmed for his own sexual gratification.

"Mukendi is a dangerous individual. I hope these convictions bring a sense of justice for these brave women, who came to court and faced their attacker, after such life-changing ordeals. 

"The CPS is committed to bringing sexual predators to justice. I hope these convictions serve to reassure the public that such cases will be robustly prosecuted wherever possible."