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Man who raped teenager on her way home from work in Peckham sentenced to life behind bars

A man who raped a teenager who was home from work in Peckham has been sentenced to life in prison.

Taofiq Laguda, from Dagenham, must serve a minimum of seven years before he can be considered for parole. 

The 46-year-old approached his eighteen-year-old victim at around 1.30am on January 24 last year after seeing her walking alone while on her way home from work. The restaurant worker had been planning to take the bus but, after waiting for some time, decided to walk. 

Laguna pulled up in his car and asked her for directions before offering the woman a lift home. 

The court heard that once she got into the vehicle and he headed toward Deptford his demeanour changed and drove her to an estate in Greenwich, locked the door, threatened to kill her and raped her. After the attack he left her on the side of the road, as he drove away with her handbag still in the car. 

The victim managed to flag down a passerby for help and police launched an investigation. Laguda was caught after the victim’s phone data was linked to his car via automatic number plate recognition.  DNA evidence and witness statements ensured a strong case was brought by the prosecution.

Shockingly, Laguda was on licence at the time of the attack after being convicted for raping a woman in Whitechapel in 2006. One of his conditions was being unable to drive. Flouting the order, he had taken his wife’s car while she was out the country and drove around looking for a vulnerable, lone woman to target, the jury were told.

Laguda pleaded not guilty and tried to claim he had had consensual sex with the victim but the jury’s verdict was unanimous. He was convicted him of rape and theft at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday, January 27 and sentenced at the same court this week.

Detective Constable Daniel Weeks, said: “This horrific attack strikes at the heart of our society. The victim has shown tremendous resilience throughout this ordeal, the police investigation and subsequent trial. 

“My thanks goes to all the officers and partner agencies who relentlessly worked on this case to ensure justice.”

Detective Inspector Spencer Thomas said: “Taofiq Laguda is a very dangerous man who raped a female he enticed off the street. 

“He poses a significant risk to women and I am pleased that he has been convicted of these offences. The police have a responsibility to protect the public from this kind of individual.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victim who had the courage to report this distressing assault to police, and attend court to give evidence against Laguda.

“I hope that this outcome gives the victim and her family a measure of comfort and closure.”

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