Grime artist Solo 45 has sentence for repeatedly raping four women increased

A grime artist who held four women against their will and repeatedly raped them has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

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.

He was handed a 29-year extended sentence, made up of a 24-year jail term and an extended licence period of five years, in July last year.

But, following a hearing on Friday, senior judges concluded that the sentence was “unduly lenient” and increased it to 35 years – with a 30-year jail term and five years additional licence.

Lady Justice Macur, sitting with two other judges, said the original sentence did not reflect the fact Anokye committed multiple offences of rape against four separate victims.

His sentence was referred to the court by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) under the unduly lenient sentencing scheme.

Speaking after the ruling, Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC said: “Anokye’s crimes were truly shocking.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision to increase his sentence recognises the severity of the abuse he inflicted upon his victims and the danger he poses to the public.”

The court rejected an argument by lawyers representing the Solicitor General that Anokye should have been given a life sentence.

The judge also refused a bid by Anokye to appeal against the length of his original sentence.

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

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 that 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 that 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, passing sentence in July, 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.”

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)

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.

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 that 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 that he had forced a mobile phone down her throat.

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

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.

Anokye will only be released from prison after serving at least 20 years of his 30-year jail term behind bars and when the Parole Board is satisfied he no longer poses a danger to the public.