A Polish rapist was able to enter the UK despite a previous conviction and attack two women after changing his name and posing as a wealthy “sugar daddy”.
Rafal Bargiel subjected the women to “humiliating and degrading” sex acts after meeting them through a dating website. He had only recently been released from prison in his native Poland after two-and-a-half years for rape, a sentence described by a judge as “extraordinarily lenient”.
He changed his name to Tomasz Puchalski and travelled to Britain, without authorities failing to pick up his criminal record.
The Telegraph reports that a court heard how he attacked his first victim in November 2014 when he met her at a London station before driving her to a remote location in Hertfordshire where he held a knife to her face and forced her to perform sex acts on him.
He then took her to a hotel in London where he continued his attack.
Mr Bargiel met then met his second victim in April this year and took her to a hotel in the town of Cheshunt in Hertfordshire and subjected her to a similar ordeal.
He was on bail for the offences against his first victim when he met his second, after routine police checks failed to show his previous conviction in Poland.
Hertfordshire Police said: “I can confirm that Bargiel was on police bail but had not been charged at this stage due to insufficient evidence, with further enquiries being progressed.
“Bargiel had a previous conviction in Poland however he supplied false details and documentation and, although the relevant checks were carried out by officers, this is why his previous conviction was not picked up at the time of his arrest.”
Yesterday, Mr Bargiel was jailed for life for the attacks, with the judge ordering that he should not be considered for parole for at least nine years.
He has been convicted of six counts of rape, two of false imprisonment, one of assault by penetration, one of sexual assault and one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Constable Allan Burnham of Hertfordshire Police said they were “possibly two of the most horrific cases” he had seen.
Passing sentence, judge Andrew Bright QC said: “The most serious of the aggravating features is you have a very recent conviction for doing the same thing. In November 2011 you were convicted in Poland of strikingly similar offences to a girl of a similar age.
“You pleaded guilty and were sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment – that was an extraordinarily lenient sentence but it was the sentence of the Polish court that came to pass sentence on you.
“On your release you decided to adopt a new name. You obtained a false Polish identity card and you came to England, where you lived and worked using that false name.”
The case raises questions about how well UK border and immigration authorities monitor newly-arrived migrants for past criminal cases.
Latvian killer Arnis Zalkans was allowed to enter the UK despite serving seven years for murdering his wife in his homeland. After entering the UK, he went on to kill 14-year-old schoolgirl Alice Gross.