A sex attacker from Dagenham, east London targeted Muslim women because he had a fetish for hijabs.
Emmanuel Ndegwe, 25, was jailed in March for forcing himself on several Somali women after following them into their homes in 2013 and 2014.
He was caught when a police officer noticed striking similarities in a number of cases, one of which was that all the women had been wearing traditional Islamic clothing.
Speaking to MailOnline, Detective Inspector Tracy Miller said: “The likelihood is that there may have been a fetish going on, the three victims were very similar looking.
“When I reviewed (the case) I set about researching previous crimes and I found two that were carried out in almost identical circumstances.
“All three were wearing traditional Muslim clothing, all were of a certain age and all of a certain body size.”
Ndegwe also followed the women home by walking very closely behind them – a practice known as “shoulder surfing”.
DI Miller added: “It’s a common thing used by criminals whereby they’re not immediately noticed but they’re able to get in to a venue.”
Ndegwe pleaded guilty to two counts of trespass with intent to commit a sexual act and one count of stalking earlier this year at Inner London Crown Court. He received a six-year prison sentence.
In one case, he threw himself on a woman in front of her terrified children while in another he violently attacked a woman as she pushed an 89-year-old in a wheelchair.
DI Miller said that the investigation had been one of her “best” and spoke of her pride in how it was conducted.
“The reason it made me most proud was the impact on the victims. We were speaking to women from a community that don’t traditionally have a huge amount of confidence in the police but my two officers did a phenomenal job at securing the victims’ confidence.
“We’d never have had a prosecution without them.”
She added that there may be even more victims due to the “prolific” nature of Ndegwe’s offending.
“I suspect there may be other victims… [because] his offending was so prolific and very blatant. He did it knowingly in front of witnesses and wasn’t put off.”