Solo 45: Grime artist convicted of raping four women and holding them against their will

Andy Anokye found guilty of 30 charges over two-year period

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 11 March 2020 17:19
Solo 45 was formerly part of grime collective Boy Better Know
Solo 45 was formerly part of grime collective Boy Better Know

Grime artist Andy Anokye, who performs under the name Solo 45, has been convicted of holding four women against their will and repeatedly raping them.

Anokye, 33, was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 30 charges relating to a two-year period.

He was unanimously convicted of 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The musician, formerly part of grime collective Boy Better Know, did not react as the jury of seven women and five men returned their verdicts after 10 hours and 55 minutes of deliberations.

Judge William Hart adjourned sentencing for a date to be fixed and ordered a psychiatric report to be carried out on the defendant.

He told the jury: “It is almost four months since we first met here to try this lengthy indictment.

“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.

“I am very grateful to you. It is finally over. I will sentence Mr Anokye on a date that is convenient to counsel.”

Judge Hart excused the panel from jury service in the future and paid tribute to how they had listened to “quite disturbing” evidence during the trial.

The court heard the four complainants have made victim personal statements, describing the impact of Anokye’s offences on them.

During the trial, graphic video clips – filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone – were played to the jury.

In the footage, Anokye is seen interrogating the women about previous sexual partners, slapping them, insulting them and raping them.

One clip showed a woman crying and saying “I hate you”, with the musician laughing and making a thumbs-up sign to the camera.

Anokye, who was signed to Island Records, was described as a “violent, controlling narcissist and a bully” by prosecutors during the case.

Jurors heard how he derived sexual pleasure from torturing the women by water-boarding, interrogating, assaulting and raping them.

The musician spoke of dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears – and enjoyed playing a game he called “Catch me, Rape me”.

Police launched an investigation in 2017 after a woman claimed she had been raped at Anokye’s waterfront apartment in Bristol.

Following his arrest, police examined videos and images on three mobile phones, an external hard drive and a laptop found at the apartment.

They contacted further women and four came forward with complaints of abuse at his hands.

A fifth woman also gave evidence against Anokye during the trial but jurors heard he could not be charged with alleged offences against her, as they took place abroad.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Rice, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “I hope today’s verdicts bring some solace to the victims in this case who have suffered unimaginable horrors.

“Our focus will remain on supporting them as we have done for almost three years since this investigation began, and we will continue to do so through to sentencing and beyond.”

Jill MacNamara, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “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.

“He claimed sexual activity with these women was consensual role-play and pointed to the fact that some of the women stayed in 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.

“I would like to thank all the women who came forward to tell of their traumatic experiences with Anokye.

“The commitment of the CPS to see this case through to its conclusion after three years and two separate trials shows that we will not shy away from difficult cases.

“We want every victim of rape to have the confidence that where there is sufficient evidence, the CPS will prosecute.”

Anokye grew up on the Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham, London, but had a flat in Bristol.

He was remanded in custody, where he has been since his arrest, following the jury’s verdicts.

Additional reporting by Press Association