A Greenwich man who raped a woman near a Thamesmead canal before forcing her to wash there has been jailed for over 15 years.

Desmond Atumkeze, 23, from Thamesmead, was sentenced to 15 years and two months in prison today (June 11) at Woolwich Crown Court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and kidnapping.

Wearing a ski mask, Atumkeze asked "Do you have a boyfriend?" as he raped a 30-year-old woman by a canal in Thamesmead on November 8 last year.

He told her he had a gun, and that he would kill her if she did not comply with his demands.

Warning her against contacting the police, he said: “I’m local, I know your face, I know where you live.”

Describing the crime further, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the rapist's target had got off a bus and "had been taking her usual shortcut home across a basketball court when he marched her towards a concrete clearing near a canal."

After raping the woman, the CPS said, Atumkeze made her wash in the cold and muddy canal, adding “hurry up I don’t have all day”.

He then took her phone and earpods before walking her back towards the route she had been on.

Police identified Atumkeze through forensic evidence.

Analysis of Atumkeze’s phone later found he had researched the terms ‘rape kit,’ ‘rapists and condoms’ and ‘DNA profiling’.

Daniel Geller, from the CPS, said: “This was a horrific attack on a lone female who was simply returning home from work.

"The victim was in fear of her life and has since been left terrified to go out alone."

“Desmond Atumkeze," Geller added "had shown no remorse for his actions."

"In fact, during police interview he claimed to be a virgin and said that he was blind, and so could not have been responsible for the rape.

"But faced with the DNA and phone evidence against him, Atumkeze eventually changed his mind and pleaded guilty.

“This conviction will ensure he is finally held responsible for his actions and will spend a long time in prison where he will no longer be a threat to women. I hope the victim will take some comfort from this."