Grime musician Solo 45 jailed for 24 years for raping and imprisoning women

The Great Escape Festival 2016 - Day 3
The Great Escape Festival 2016 - Day 3

A grime artist who held four women against their will and repeatedly raped them has been jailed for 24 years.

Andy Anokye, 33, who performed under the stage name Solo 45, was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of 30 charges relating to a two-year period.

These were 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The musician, who was part of the grime collective Boy Better Know, derived sexual pleasure from torturing the women by water-boarding, interrogating, assaulting and raping them.

He claimed the acts were part of consensual role play, or a game he played called "Catch me, Rape me", and said he told women he would "terrorise" them.

Police began investigating Anokye, who is from London but had a harbourside apartment in Bristol, in 2017 after a woman complained she had been raped by him.

After his arrest, officers discovered harrowing footage filmed by Anokye on his mobile phone that revealed he had abused multiple women.

Judge William Hart imposed an extended sentence, meaning Anokye will serve 24 years in prison and five on licence, and ordered he must sign the sex offenders register for life.

The judge told Anokye, who appeared by video link from HMP Long Lartin, he had "no sexual boundaries or empathy for those concerned".

He said Anokye had "become addicted" to the "perverted pleasure" he took from abusing the women in the case.

The judge added: "You have a background that includes gang associations and criminal violence.

"I'm entirely satisfied that your career as a music artist was flourishing at the time of this offending and that you would have gone to great heights.

"You were part of a well-known collective – Boy Better Know. The fellow artists from that collective have achieved great success."

The judge said none of those fellow artists were aware of Anokye's behaviour, or "dark side".

"They are in no way tarnished by your misdeeds which you carried out in a private way," the judge told Anokye.

"Your convictions have deprived you of that career but the fault is yours alone."

During the trial, the graphic video clips filmed by Anokye were played to the jury.

They showed Anokye interrogating the women about previous sexual partners, slapping them, insulting them and raping them.

One clip showed a woman crying and saying "I hate you", with the musician laughing and making a thumbs-up sign to the camera.

Anokye, who was signed to Island Records and had collaborated with Stormzy, JME and Wiley, was described as a "violent, controlling narcissist and a bully" by prosecutors during the case.

The trial heard he forced one woman to lie in a bath of freezing cold water, held a shotgun to the head of another woman. and made one sit with a bottle of water tied to her finger with a shoelace.

His abuse included holding a cloth covered in bleach to women's faces, with one woman telling jurors he had forced a mobile phone down her throat.

An image of a shotgun shown in the court case (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)
An image of a shotgun shown in the court case (Avon and Somerset Police/PA)

Giving evidence, Anokye told the court he had dacryphilia – sexual arousal from tears.

Christopher Quinlan QC, prosecuting, said Anokye is "dangerous" to the public and poses a risk of physical and sexual violence.

"He is a calculating, highly manipulative man," Mr Quinlan said. "He has no concept at all of what right-minded people consider to be proper behavioural values."

Following Anokye's arrest, police examined videos and images on three mobile phones, an external hard drive and a laptop found at his apartment in Bristol.

They contacted further women and three came forward with complaints of abuse at his hands.

A fifth woman also gave evidence against Anokye during the trial, but jurors heard he could not be charged with alleged offences against her as they took place abroad.

Sally O'Neill QC, representing Anokye, said he is willing to undergo treatment programmes for his behaviour.

She told the court he has an "ongoing anxiety disorder" and is a "different person" since his arrest in 2017.