A man who sexually assaulted five women in one single weekend has been jailed for eight years, today, 4 August at Inner London Crown Court.
Dorian Bell, 32 (20.12.84) of Southwark had previously pleaded guilty on 7 June to one count of attempted rape; four counts of sexual assault; and one count of possession of a knife. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment plus a further five years on licence. He has also been placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
All the offences took place in south London between Saturday, 18 March and Sunday, 19 March 2017.
The first assault took place at approximately 04:00 on 18 March on the St. Saviour’s Estate in Southwark. A young woman walking through the estate became aware of a man behind her. He attempted to engage her in conversation before pushing her against a wall and attempting to kiss her. He then put his hand down her trousers and sexually assaulted her. Local residents were alerted to the victim’s screams and the suspect ran off when he was disturbed.
Fifty minutes later at 04:50am on New Kent Road at the junction with Falmouth Road, a couple were walking down the street when they became aware of a man walking very closely behind them. They walked towards traffic lights in an attempt to get out of the man’s way. Whilst waiting for the lights to change, the suspect approached the woman and put his hands up her dress. The woman elbowed the suspect and started screaming and pushing him before he ran off.
The third offence took place the following day on Sunday, 19 March at about 16:45 on Beckway Street in Walworth. A teenage girl was walking to the shops when she encountered the defendant. Without any warning he hugged her and put his left hand under her top before groping her.
Less than an hour later at 17:25 in Walworth Road a young woman was walking with her father when a man approached her. He grabbed her right buttock and squeezed it for 5-10 seconds.
At 23:40 the same night, a woman walking down John Ruskin Street was grabbed by the defendant and dragged into an alleyway. During the struggle, the victim bit her attacker’s finger in an attempt to escape. He punched the victim in the face, before producing a knife and telling her he would rape her. The victim screamed and two passers-by intervened, at which point the defendant ran off.
The victim called police and was able to give the 999 operator a good description of Bell. Officers en route to the call spotted Bell in a street nearby. He made off but was apprehended after a 5-minute long chase in Queens Row, Walworth. He was in possession of a knife and produced it in front of officers, attempting to cut his wrists and neck with it. A struggle ensued and he was eventually handcuffed and arrested.
Detectives investigating the assaults quickly linked the offences based on DNA evidence, CCTV footage and the descriptions of Bell given by witnesses, and he was arrested for the other offences.
DC Robert Jamieson of the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Dorian Bell is an extremely dangerous and disturbed sexual predator who has complete disregard for his victims and the impact his actions have had on their lives. He sexually assaulted five females in a series of attacks over one weekend, one of whom was subjected to a horrific knifepoint attack. I would like thank the victims and acknowledge their courage throughout this investigation. Due to the overwhelming forensic and CCTV evidence, Bell had no option other than to plead guilty.
The sentence handed to Bell reflects the gravity of the offences and the effect that his actions have had on the victims since the attacks.”