Man guilty of string of sex attacks

A serial rapist is facing a long prison sentence today after being convicted of attacking women near Buckingham Palace and the British Museum.

Lawrence Dugbazah, 31, subjected three women to terrifying assaults within a 10-week period last year, the Old Bailey heard.

He targeted young women walking home in the early hours of the morning - dragging them to the ground and putting his hand in their mouths to stop them screaming, said Tana Adkin, prosecuting.

Dugbazah, of Peckham, south London, pleaded guilty to raping a 19-year-old in Bloomsbury on January 9 last year.

Miss Adkin said he was later charged with the two other assaults because they were "strikingly similar".

He was found guilty of the attempted rape and sexual assault of a woman on March 13 last year in south London, and the rape of another woman eight days later in St James's.

He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on June 10.

Miss Adkin said the first rape was filmed on CCTV after Dugbazah picked the teenager up and threw her to the floor of a cafe doorway in Museum Street.

There she struggled but was pinned to the ground. "While trying to subdue her, he sticks his hand down her throat to stop her screaming. He threatens to kill her," said Miss Adkin.

After tearing her dress and raping her, Dugbazah told her to get up, covering her eyes so she did not see him before he ran off.

Dugbazah's DNA was matched in March when he was arrested for an unrelated offence. Meanwhile, he had attacked two other women.

A 22-year-old woman was pulled to the ground in Lewisham and was about to be raped when a passer-by disturbed the attacker and he ran off.

Then an 18-year-old was in Palace Street going to a friend's house after spending the evening at a club in the King's Road when she spotted a man watching her.

He crossed the road and followed her, grabbed her from behind and put his hand down her throat to stop her screaming.

She was shoved into an alcove near a shop doorway and pulled to the ground where she was raped, the court heard.

She eventually managed to get away and ran semi-naked to a cab waiting further along the road.

Miss Adkin said a researcher working for the police analysing 958 stranger rapes in London had identified 14 striking similarities between the three attacks.