A man from Wembley who was working as an unlicensed tattoo artist and raped a woman at his flat has been jailed.
Dewal Dos Santos Silva, 37, a Brazilian national living in Wembley, was found guilty of rape at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday, (17 November) and was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment, with a further five years to be served on licence.
Dos Santos Silva’s home was his studio and he promoted his work via social media. He was contacted by the victim, a woman in her mid-30s, who arranged to come to the flat in Wembley on the evening of 30 October 2020. Dos Santos Silva had previously given her a piercing and she understood on this occasion he would be doing a tattoo she wanted.
While she was there she became groggy and lost consciousness. She awoke in the early hours of the following morning to find Dos Santos Silva raping her. Dos Santos Silva sent a text to the distraught victim as she made her way home after the attack in which he apologised for ‘screwing up’ and asked if she was mad at him.
The victim went to a specialist support centre and police were alerted on 1 November with an investigation launched immediately. Dos Santos Silva was arrested on 3 November.
Dos Santos Silva was found not guilty of administering a substance with intent. In addition to his sentence, a restraining order was also issued prohibiting him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly.
Detective Constable Ian Smith, North West Command Unit, said: “The victim somewhat trusted Dos Santos Silva as she had met him on a previous occasion for a piercing which went without incident.
“This time around he exploited and abused her trust in the most horrific way, making her feel uncomfortable with suggestive comments before going on to rape her. Her bravery and courage is remarkable and I hope Dos Santos Silva’s jailing goes some way to helping her move on to the next chapter in her life.
“It is a possibility that there are more victims of Dos Santos Silva who have yet to come forward. I would encourage anyone who may have been a victim to contact us. We will listen to you, we will investigate and take action.”