A 28-year-old serial sexual predator has been jailed for life for a series of rapes and assaults in Tower Hamlets .
Liban Abdi’s victims ranged in age from 19 to 75 and three attacks took place in one day, and another near a primary school. They victims were small Asian women. He told one woman: “I love Chinese and Japanese.”
Jobless Abdi, of Woodstock Terrace, Poplar, was found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court earlier this year on two counts of rape, four counts of sexual assault, one of attempted rape, assault by beating, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by penetration.
Police believe there may be more victims too frightened to come forward and tell their stories.
He was sentenced on Thursday (April 28) to a life term with a minimum of 12 years.
In a statement one victim told the court that he had “ruined her life” and that “the attack lasted seconds but the effects have lasted ever since”.
The court heard that Abdi was linked to attacks on five women between November 2014 and April 2015 in the Poplar and Bethnal Green areas. At one point he was arrested on suspicion of an assault and freed on bail. He committing another offence a few months later.
Det Con Tim Duffin, from the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Abdi targeted lone women and put them through a terrible ordeal.
“I would like to praise their bravery in coming forward and continued support throughout the investigation. It is thanks to them that this dangerous man is in prison.
“It is possible that there may be other women who were attacked by Abdi who are yet to contact police. I would ask them to call us so that we can help in any way possible.”
In the first attack, on the morning of November 29, 2014, Abdi attacked a 75-year-old woman as she walked along Ming Street, E14. He rummaged through her pockets before sexually assaulting her and punching her to the ground.
The same afternoon, Abdi approached a 19-year-old woman in the underpass by the Docklands Light Railway at Blackwall and sexually assaulting her.
About an hour later, Abdi sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman and punched her several times in the face in the stairwell of flats on Commercial Road.
A few weeks later, on December 4, Aldi followed a 29-year-old woman from the night bus. He grabbed her from behind and dragged her to an area of wasteland close near Bygrove Primary School where he raped her. Footage was recovered from the bus’s CCTV which helped identify Abdi.
Abdi was arrested three days later and was bailed while officers gathered forensic evidence.
Four months later, in the early hours of the morning, he committed his final assault on a 25-year-old woman who was heading home from work was attacked and sexually assaulted close to Hackney Road, E2.
Abdi was arrested that afternoon and charged with all five offences. He was already a serial offender and was on bail for burglary at the time of the first attack on suspicion of breaking into a woman’s bedroom as she slept and stealing her iPad.
His criminal record stretched back to when he was 14. He had been jailed for wounding his brother in 2007 and jailed again for robbery in 2011.