Grime artist Solo 45, a former member of the Boy Better Know collective, has been found guilty of imprisoning and raping four women.
The artist, whose real name is Andy Anokye, began a lengthy trial last year for a number of charges including 22 counts of rape and five counts of false imprisonment. According to The Guardian, he also faced two charges of assault by penetration and two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Today (March 11), Anokye has been found guilty of all but one of these serious sexual assault charges, BristolLive reports.
The verdicts were reached after almost 11 hours of deliberation from the jury, who found him not guilty of one rape charge.
The Crown Prosecution Service’s Jill MacNamara said (via the BBC): “We were able to prove that Anokye was a violent, controlling narcissist and bully who took pleasure in inflicting pain and suffering upon his victims.
“He filmed many of his attacks on his mobile phone, and this footage, along with the brave testimony of his victims, created a compelling case against him.”
She continued: “He claimed sexual activity with these women was consensual role-play and pointed to the fact that some of the women stayed in a relationship with him after the assaults.
“However, the CPS was able to prove none of these women had consented to the sexual activity or the violence and threats made against them.
“The fear he elicited must have made it obvious they did not consent.”
It’s reported that the jury heard disturbing details of Anokye’s alleged crimes throughout the five-month trial, with graphic footage of the abuse also being shown in court.
One woman said that she thought she was going to die after being allegedly held against her will by Anokye. Another told the jury he wanted her to take part in a “rape game” as she recounted the alleged abuse.
Anokye has been on trial at Bristol Crown Court since November 21. His initial trial in April 2018 fell through due to legal reasons before a second was halted in February 2019.
Upon the guilty verdicts being reached today, Judge William Hart told the jury: “You have had to listen to and indeed watch some extremely graphic evidence and make very important decisions in the lives of all those concerned.”
Anokye is yet to be sentenced. He has denied all charges against him.