A man convicted of a rape which took place more than 35 years ago has been jailed following an investigation by officers from the Met’s Central East Command Unit. The Judge said: “I am left with not the slightest doubt that Mr Simms is extremely dangerous.”
Patrick Simms, 58, was found guilty of one count of raping a person under 16 at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday, 2 March after a 14-day trial.
On Thursday, 20 July, he was sentenced at the same court to nine years, with an extended licence of eight years. He will serve this immediately and be ineligible for parole on his life sentence until at least two thirds through this sentence.
Simms was already serving a life sentence for three rapes he committed in Hackney in 1993 and 1999.
The court heard that in 2019, the victim came to police to report a rape that had taken place in 1987, when she was just 15 years old.
Detective Sergeant Matthew Cooksey, who led the investigation, said: “Simms is a prolific offender and we are glad that he has now been brought to justice for this offence. Throughout the trial he has tried his hardest to derail it and manipulate the jury. I am glad that they have seen through these attempts and unanimously convicted him.
“I want to thank the victim for coming forward and providing the crucial evidence needed to convict him. We hope this shows we will always take reports of this nature seriously, no matter how much time has passed. We would urge any others who have been subjected to these types of offences to come forward and speak to us.”
The victim told officers that she met Simms, who was then 22, at a leisure centre in Hackney. They began chatting and he offered her a lift, which she accepted.
He then took her back to his address on the Holly Street Estate in Hackney where he raped her.
The victim of 1987 rape courageously came forward in 2019
The victim did not report the crime as she thought she wouldn’t be believed and that it was shameful for her and her family.
However, the consequences of the crime stayed with her and after counselling and reflecting she courageously came forward in 2019 and made a report. Officers from the Met’s Central East Sapphire Team launched an immediate investigation.
The victim was able to provide officers with Simms’ name, but due to the passage of time there was no further evidence to link him to the crime.
An identity procedure would allow officers to see if the victim would positively identify Simms as her attacker.
However, due to his previous offending history, they needed to make sure the victim hadn’t seen any previous images of him in the media.
To do so, they carried out extensive trawls of newspaper records both online and in microfiche and paper records at the British Library to show that a picture of him had never been published.
PC Daniel Swindells, of the Met’s Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: “The consequences of Simms’ attack never left the victim and I sincerely hope that his conviction will bring her the closure she deserves. We fully understand that reporting a sexual crime can be traumatic for the victim, despite them having done absolutely nothing wrong.
“I want to assure anyone who makes such a report that we have specialist officers who will support you and do all they can to bring the person who is truly responsible to justice.”
“He hurt me in the most cruel and vicious way”
In a statement, the victim spoke of the impact the incident has had on all aspects of her life and why she had decided to come forward.
She said: “As my daughter was reaching the age of 16 and the #metoo campaign began, I felt more compelled to find out where this person was who had violated me at such a young age. I couldn’t bear the fact that this could happen to my daughter too. I was really anxious about that.
“This person cannot be trusted to live amongst us in society, he was a danger to women from a young age and always will be in my opinion. He hurt me in the most cruel and vicious way and I will never be rid of the memory of him raping me. But by seeking justice for what he did I can allow myself closure… I can feel proud of the strength, courage and patience it has taken to get me through the three years of this whole legal process, and 35 years of holding on to a very painful memory. I can now try to let that go because I’ve been heard and justice has been served.”
Judge Lucas, said: “Having set out the history and facts of this offence and the history of Mr Simms’ subsequent offending and also his calculating conduct in the course of the trial, I am left with not the slightest doubt that Mr Simms is extremely dangerous. Whenever he is released from prison, I have not the slightest doubt that other women will be subjected to the same sort of non-consenting sexual abuse as his victims have suffered in the past.
“Since he raped the complainant in this case, Mr Simms continued to commit ever more serious offences of rape and his conduct was only halted by him receiving a life sentence. I regard his subsequent conduct as a significant aggravating factor.
“I have considered whether I am able to pass a further life sentence. I do not have such a power under the SA 2020. I also do not believe the seriousness of the 1987 rape is such as to justify my passing a discretionary life sentence. That said, it is my very clear view that if I had the power to pass a life sentence on Mr Simms I would do so to protect the public from his conduct, having concluded he continues to present an ongoing danger to women.
“Finally my sincere thanks to Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Hooper, and the OIC, DS Cooksey, for their assistance with an extremely difficult case.”
(Source: Metropolitan Police)