Grime artist Solo 45 jailed for 24 years for sex attacks against four women

30 July 2020, 16:29 | Updated: 30 July 2020, 16:43

Andy Anokye performs under the stage name Solo 45
Andy Anokye performs under the stage name Solo 45. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Grime artist Solo 45 has been jailed for 24 years for holding four women against their will and repeatedly raping them.

Andy Anokye, 33, who performs under the stage name Solo 45, was convicted of 30 charges in March following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He was unanimously convicted of 21 rapes, five counts of false imprisonment, two counts of assault by penetration and two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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 musician, who was part of the grime collective Boy Better Know, did not react as the jury of seven women and five men returned the verdicts following 10 hours and 55 minutes of deliberations.

Solo 45 was a member of grime collective Boy Better Know
Solo 45 was a member of grime collective Boy Better Know. Picture: Getty

The musician said he 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.

Andy Anokye was sentenced to 24 years in prison
Andy Anokye was sentenced to 24 years in prison. Picture: Getty

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

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.

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