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Italian nationals found guilty of Four Counts of Rape

Ferdinando Orlando, 25  and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26  both Italian nationals who live in Italy, were found guilty of four counts of rape (two counts per person). Detective Sergeant Rebecca Woodsford, the Senior Investigating Officer who lead the investigation since 2017, said: “Today’s result is the best possible outcome from a truly traumatic experience for the victim, who suffered severe injuries which resulted in her suspecting she may have been raped. Her discovery prompted the police investigation where the attack by these two men was identified. “This was a long and thorough investigation, with no forensic leads and hours of CCTV to track through. I really hope that this sends a message to anyone who has been, or believes they have been the victim of a serious sexual assault that we will do all that we can to investigate each case fully and seek to prosecute those responsible.” During the trial, the court heard that at 11.27pm  on 25 February 2017, the victim, who was 23-years-old at the time of the attack, attended a nightclub on Argyll Street, in Soho with some friends. Just over half an hour later, the two suspects who were known to each other entered the club. The victim and suspects are not known to each other. There is no interaction between the victim and suspects until just before 2am  where they start dancing with her on the dancefloor and they both proceed to kiss her. She is visibly drunk and unsteady on her feet and is passed between each suspect as take turns to kiss her. The suspects then stand either side of the victim, escort her into a maintenance room, propping her up, eight minutes after first interacting with her. They both then rape her. Sixteen minutes later all three then leave the maintenance room and the suspects re-arrange the victims dress and straddle walk her into the female toilets. Orlando and Costanzo then run up the stairs exiting the nightclub and high-five each other before showing one another something on a mobile phone. During the trial, both men admitted that in the CCTV they are watching their attack back on the phone before they made lewd gestures and re-enact to each other about what they had just done during the rape. After being in the toilets for over an hour, the victim is found by staff and escorted out where she described being in extreme pain – so much so that she struggles to walk properly. A French couple help the victim home, where upon her arrival, her housemate found her in such severe pain that London Ambulance Service and police were called. The victim was taken to hospital where she required surgery. It was established that the woman had been a victim of rape and an investigation was launched under the supervision of DS Woodsford – the Senior Investigating Officer. CCTV was gathered from the venue and on review clearly showed Orlando and Costanzo holding up the victim and leading her off the dancefloor and towards the maintenance room. It then shows the suspects breaking the lock on the door to the room and taking her inside. DS Woodsford and her team soon established that one of their suspects, Costanzo, left the country hours after he had carried out the attack and returned to Italy. Orlando left around a week later than his friend. On 15 March 2018, Costanzo returned to the UK to watch a football match in London. He was arrested at Heathrow Airport and taken into custody. He was interviewed and charged on the following day (16 March). Following Costanzo’s arrest, Orlando contacted the police and flew back by appointment where he was arrested. He was taken to a south London police station and charged on 26 April 2018. During both of their interviews, neither man gave an account of what happened to the victim, they only gave a short account in the defence statement where they admitted both having consensual sex (oral and vaginal). DS Woodsford concluded: “Costanzo and Orlando though that they could attack a vulnerable victim, brag about it and then get away with it. They were very wrong and will now pay the price for their actions.” They will appear at Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing on a date to be set in due course.

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