August 2023

Man convicted of sexual offences including rape

Detectives are seeking a man convicted of raping a woman in east London after he was sentenced in his absence.

William White, 24 (09.08.98) of Paragon Road, Hackney was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Tuesday, 1 August to five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for one count of rape and one count of sexual assault by touching.

White failed to appear at the hearing and is now wanted by police. Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who knows where he is.

White was found guilty on Friday, 19 May after a nine day trial, which saw the victim-survivor bravely attend court to give evidence in front of her attacker.

White will be placed on the Sex Offender Register for life and will be managed by specialist officers when he is released from prison.

Detective Constable Jamie Merrill, the investigating officer, said: “White subjected the victim to a horrifying ordeal when she was asleep and vulnerable.

“Throughout the trial he attempted to mislead the court about his actions, but the 12 men and women of the jury correctly identified his dishonesty and convicted him unanimously of rape.

“Significant resources are being brought to bear to apprehend White so he can face justice. I urge anybody with information about White’s whereabouts to contact police immediately.”

On 17 January 2020, the victim attended White’s address in Hackney with a friend for a social gathering. She described for the court how she had trusted White, having already known him through friends.

The victim fell asleep at the address and later woke to find White raping her. She reported the incident to police on 19 January 2020.

White was arrested by detectives two days later and an extensive investigation was carried out across London and the south-east. He was charged with the offence on 20 December 2021.

DC Merrill added: “I hope that today’s sentence will bring a small measure of peace to the victim and a sense that justice has been served.”

White had also been charged with a further count of rape in relation to a second victim. He was found not guilty of that offence.