A photographer targeting aspiring models has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping a former client after getting her so drunk she passed out
- Sritharan Sayanthan, 42, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one attempted rape
A man who ran a photography studio targeting aspiring models has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping a former client after getting her so drunk she passed out.
Sritharan Sayanthan, 42, of Fitzrovia, was found guilty of two counts of rape and one attempted rape after a seven-day trial at Hendon Crown Court.
The court heard how the victim’s survivor, a woman in her 30s, visited Sayanthan’s photography studio on Brompton Road, London, in May 2022, where she paid for photographs to be taken.
The victim met him again for drinks on July 8, 2022, which she says was part of the networking process associated with the agency.
Sayanthan had previously contacted them online to arrange this.
Sritharan Sayanthan, 42, (pictured) of Fitzrovia was found guilty of two counts of rape and one attempted rape after a seven-day trial at Hendon Crown Court
The victim met Sayanthan at a pub on Warren Street at 7.40pm.
He encouraged her to drink alcohol, which got her drunk very quickly.
He then led the victim to his studio, where she lay unconscious on the floor.
While partially awake, she was aware that Sayanthan was sexually abusing her and was unable to respond verbally or physically.
When she finally woke up, he found himself putting her clothes back on, and he then escorted her to the train station.
The victim, a Chinese citizen, reported the crimes to the police on July 31, 2022.
She did not tell police earlier as she did not know how and if rape was being investigated in the UK.
Investigators from Central North Command conducted an investigation.
They discovered CCTV footage from Transport for London showing the victim arriving at Warren Street station and arriving back at the station almost four hours later.
Metropolitan Police said CCTV footage showed Sayanthan directing the victim to the subway station and was noticeably unsteady on her feet.
The victim provided a visually taped interview in August and after the suspect was identified, he was arrested under a pre-planned warrant in September.
Statements were obtained from studio employees and further investigation revealed that the suspect was owned by several other photo companies.
Two historic allegations of sexual assault against clients by the same suspect from 2012 and 2015 have been withdrawn.
Sayanthan led the victim to his studio on Brompton Road (pictured) on July 8, 2022, where she lay unconscious on the floor. While partially awake, she was aware that Sayanthan was sexually abusing her and was unable to respond verbally or physically
These investigations were discontinued at the time due to difficulties in providing evidence, but the cases served as evidence against the former photographer.
The Metropolitan Police said that unfortunately vital CCTV equipment was lost in this investigation, as were forensic capabilities due to the delay in reporting.
Detective Constable Sophie Baker of Central North Command said: “The victim survivor in this case was fantastic from start to finish.”
“She was extremely nervous at the prospect of testimony, but with the assistance of an interpreter, she told the court in detail what happened.”
“It can be daunting for victims to describe the incident in court, but she did an amazing job and personally I am very proud of her courage and grateful that she came forward.”
“We also believe there may be other victims of Sayanthan and encourage anyone who wishes to speak to us to get in touch.” “No information is too small and you will be heard and supported.”
DC Baker added, “Anyone with information about Sayanthan should call the police on 101 with the reference number 1852/31JUL22.” I urge anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual assault to come forward and let the police know what happened. We support you and take you seriously.
“By working with our partners throughout the criminal justice system, we are committed to bringing offenders to justice.” We will prioritize action against sexual and violent predatory offenders and encourage any victim or witness of sexual assault to contact us. “We have specially trained officers to help and support you.”