A cab driver from Lambeth has been jailed for the rape of two women.

Michael Mehari, of Kennington Lane in SE11, was sentenced for three counts of rape at Inner London Crown Court on February 23.

The 34-year-old was sentenced to a total of 19 years imprisonment and four years on extended licence for three counts of rape.

Mehari had previously been convicted following a trial at the same court on December 15, 2022.

The first attack happened on December 29, 2019 while the victim, a woman in her 20s, was on her way home from a night out.

She was hit on the head before being attacked on the street in the area around Kennington Road Park.

The second attack (which accounted for counts two and three) took place in the early hours of March 20, 2022.

Another victim in her 20s had booked a mini-cab to travel home in after a night out.

The victim entered Mehari’s car, beleiving it was her taxi, and she fell asleep in the back of the vehicle.

The victim awoke to find Mehari attacking her, she confronted him, left the vehicle and reported the incident to transport staff at a nearby tube station who contacted police.

An investigation was launched, and enquiries lead to the arrest of Mehari.

A DNA sample taken in custody linked him to both offences in 2019 and 2022.

Support was provided to the victims.

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Detective Constable Tristan Jones of the Met’s Central South Command said: “Mehari is a dangerous opportunist who actively sought lone women.

"Identifying and apprehending those who commit violence against women and girls is a priority to which we are absolutely committed.

"I applaud the bravery of the victims in this case.

“I sincerely hope that the sentence handed to Mehari provides them with a degree of closure and a sense that justice has been done.

"I urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to contact police or a support agency. Please don’t suffer in silence."