Unlicensed tattoo artist ‘exploited’ woman’s trust and raped her in his Wembley flat

Brazilian Dewal Dos Santos Silva, 37, of High Road, Wembley, north-west London, has been jailed for 13 years. Credit: Metropolitan Police

An unlicensed tattoo artist who "exploited" a woman's trust before raping her while she was unconscious in his London flat has been jailed.

Brazilian Dewal Dos Santos Silva, 37, was contacted by the victim, a woman in her mid-30s, who arranged to go to his flat in Wembley to get a tattoo done.

While at his flat on the evening of 30 October 2020, the victim became groggy and lost consciousness before waking in the early hours of the following morning to find Dos Santos Silva raping her.

He then sent a text apologising for "screwing up" and asking if she was angry with him.

Dos Santos Silva was arrested by police on 3 November of that year, claiming he could not remember what had happened.

Police say there is a “possibility” more victims are yet to come forward.

Detective Constable Ian Smith, from the Metropolitan Police North West Command Unit, said: “The victim somewhat trusted Dos Santos Silva as she had met him on a previous occasion for a piercing which went without incident.

“This time around he exploited and abused her trust in the most horrific way, making her feel uncomfortable with suggestive comments before going on to rape her.

“Her bravery and courage is remarkable and I hope Dos Santos Silva’s jailing goes some way to helping her move on to the next chapter in her life.

“It is a possibility that there are more victims of Dos Santos Silva who have yet to come forward.

“I would encourage anyone who may have been a victim to contact us.

“We will listen to you, we will investigate and take action.”

Dos Santos Silva, of High Road, Wembley, north-west London, was found guilty of rape at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday and was jailed for 13 years, with a further five years to be served on licence.

A restraining order was also issued prohibiting him from contacting the victim directly or indirectly.

He was found not guilty of administering a substance with intent.

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