Man who met women through dating website before raping them is jailed for life

Dating site rapist Rafal Bargiel.
Dating site rapist Rafal Bargiel.

A man who raped two women he met through an internet dating site has been jailed for life.

Rafal Bargiel, also known as Tomasz Puchalski, 40, of no fixed abode was jailed today (Friday), after being found guilty of six counts of rape, two charges of false imprisonment, sexual assault by penetration and two counts of assault by beating, following his trial in October.

The court heard how he had also served a sentence in his native Poland for a similar offence and entered the UK under a false identity, which made it difficult for the authorities to identify who he really was.

In November 2014, Bargiel collected a woman from a train station in London in his Jaguar before taking her to a remote location near Hemel Hempstead where he forced her to participate in sexual acts.

He punched her in the face and forced her to comply with his demands before returning her to London where the victim confided in friends and called the police.

The second attack happened in April this year when Bargiel met his victim in London and took her to a hotel in Cheshunt, Herts.

They booked into a hotel room where he then pushed her onto the bed and forced her to undress before raping her.

Det Con Allan Burnham said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the two victims in this case who have shown immense bravery, dignity and courage throughout what has been an extremely harrowing experience. In all of my years in the police service these incidents were possibly two of the most horrific cases I have personally worked on.

“He subjected these women to a terrifying ordeal and tried to degrade them by forcing them to perform sexual acts and he exerted violence on them when they did not comply.

“The sentence passed today shows the severity of his offences. I hope it provides some closure for the women in this case and allows them to continue to rebuild their lives.”

Bargiel must serve a minimum term of eight years.