sexual predator dubbed the “Camden Doorstep Rapist” has been jailed for life over a series of attacks on lone women as police reveal they fear there may be more victims who have not yet been identified.
Francis Mukendi, 27, targeted six women as they walked home alone at night in a two-year reign of terror, arming himself with a hammer or a knife as he subjected victims to terrifying ordeals outside their own homes.
He lurked in the streets of Camden to identify potential victims, tailing women as they walked home from nights out and striking when reached their front doors and were distracted by reaching for keys.
Mukendi – who rapped on Instagram under the name ‘Raver Artist’ – used his knowledge of the area as a drug dealer to avoid CCTV cameras, managing to stay undetected between 2017 and 2019.
However Met detectives finally had a breakthrough when a grainy image of the attacker was publicised and Mukendi handed himself in to police in December 2020.
At Wood Green crown court on Friday, Mukendi was handed a life sentence and ordered to spend at least 15 years in prison before being considered for release.
“This is the most awful set of crimes imaginable for the six victims involved,” said Central North Commander Andy Carter.
“Anyone who intentionally targets females as they walk home alone, in the dark at that time of the night, waiting for a moment to strike when they are at their most vulnerable is a highly dangerous individual,” he said.
One of the detectives who brought Mukendi to justice DI Ross Morrell told the Evening Standard: “We strongly believe there are other victims out there that haven’t yet come forward to us.”
Mukendi was convicted after a trial of four counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of possession of a bladed article following a six-week trial.
The first attack was in September 2017 when Mukendi preyed on a young woman as she walked home from Camden tube station after a night out with friends.
After following her into a shared hallway, he forced her into a sex act and filmed it on his phone.
He struck again in June 2018, as a woman walked home alone from a night out at 4.30am, and carried out a further three attacks in September and November that year.
The final victim was targeted in December 2019 as she reached the door of a friend’s home after a work night out. The first five attacks were identified as “strikingly similar” and linked by officers but they came to a dead-end when trying to identify a suspect. However, Detective Sergeant Sam Wood said they had a “breakthrough moment” when she reviewed the evidence in the 2019 attack and found a CCTV image – which was handed to the media – that they believed was of the culprit.
“Mukendi went into a police station and said words to the effect of ‘I think you want to speak to me about a rape’,” she said. “That breakthrough was very exciting for the team.”
Mukendi denied being the ‘doorstep rapist’ and has never revealed why he came forward to police. But DS Wood said the predator may still have felt he could get away with his crimes.
“He absolutely knew and recognised himself in the image and probably didn’t quite know what it was that the police had, and what they were looking at,” she said.
“I don’t think he ever thought he would end up in the position he is in now.
“There was definitely a bravado, a higher sense of self-belief. He had got away with it for a number of years, and he felt it was going to continue.”
Police uncovered a cache of incriminating evidence on Mukendi’s electronic devices, including a video he had tried and failed to delete which showed the 2017 rape, as well as a Zombie knife and a lock knife believed to have been used in the attacks, and DNA evidence.
Mukendi was also seen on CCTV wearing a distinctive “The Plug” top which he had also worn in one of his Instagram music videos.
“It’s really important to thank the victims for their immense bravery and commitment from the start,” added Commander Carter. We would continue to urge anyone who has been a victim of a similar attack to speak to us directly by quoting CAD1639/21MAR22. We have specially trained officers who will help and support you.
“Alternatively contact us through a third party support group such as The Havens or London Survivors Gateway who offer a 24/7 urgent advice number if you need to speak with someone for the first time.”