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Victim’s bravery helps convict rapist

GUILTY: Stefan Melbourne

A MAN who is believed to have raped multiple women has been convicted of raping one victim whose “bravery” made it possible to bring him to justice.

Stefan Melbourne, 21, of Sherwood Avenue, southwest London, was found guilty today (Feb 12) at Woolwich Crown Court after he raped a 28-year-old woman, whom he knew.

On January 22, 2013, he managed to trick her into allowing him to stay the night at her house in southwest London where he then threatened her with violence before carrying out the rape.

The victim was initially too scared to report the crime to police, but “over time felt strong enough to support the prosecution”, police said.

Detective inspector Jim Pryde said: “Melbourne has shown himself to be a calculating and violent individual. He deserves a lengthy sentence and will be a registered sex offender on release from prison.

“The victim in this case was naturally scared of having to go to court but was determined to see justice done and her courage and perseverance has resulted in his conviction.”

Police suspect Melbourne has raped other women who have not yet reported the crimes.

Pryde added: “"I believe there may be other victims Melbourne has raped and I urge them to contact police. Specially trained officers will help you through this process.”

Praising the courage of the woman who helped convict Melbourne, investigating officer detective constable Jivan Saib said: “The bravery of the victim in this case should be commended.

“We worked hard with our partners at Rape Crisis to fully support the victim which resulted in her feeling able to give evidence, leading to today's conviction.”

Melbourne will be sentenced at a date to be confirmed.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of Melbourne should contact police in confidence on 101 or the Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command directly on 020 8721 4607

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