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Photographer who drugged and raped would-be male models is jailed

Nigel Wilkinson
Nigel Wilkinson

A photographer who lured men to his home before spiking their drinks with Rohypnol and raping them has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Nigel Brent Wilkinson, 43, from Bristol, promoted himself as a male fitness photographer and set up a website.

He used social media to identify men he wished to photograph and invited them to Bristol for a photoshoot.

Men often stayed at his home in Hill Avenue, where he plied them with drinks - some of which were laced with sedatives.

Wilkinson then committed sexual acts on his victims when they were in a drugged state.

He admitted two counts of rape, three counts of administering a substance with intent to rape and possession of drugs Flunitrazepam (also known as Rohypnol) and Nitrazepam.

Judge Michael Longman jailed Wilkinson for 11 and a half years at Bristol Crown Court.

Speaking after the hearing, Avon and Somerset Police appealed for those who had been in a relationship with Wilkinson or had contact with him through his photography to come forward.

Det Con Stacey Matthews said "On the surface, Nigel Wilkinson was a photographer with an interest in male fitness models. In private, he was a cunning sexual offender who used his photography enterprise as a cover and catalyst for his deviant activities.

"The victims have shown immense bravery, dignity and courage throughout our investigation and I'd like to thank them for the support they've given the investigation team. These crimes have had a significant impact on them and their families.

"We believe there'll be more victims who haven't yet come forward and I'd urge them to do so. If you've had any contact with Nigel Wilkinson or WilkoPhotography, or have come into contact with him through dating websites or dating apps, please call Avon and Somerset Police on 101 quoting reference number 5216165860."

The force began investigating Wilkinson in February when Kent Police were called by the girlfriend of a 19-year-old man.

She had received a concerning text message from her boyfriend stating that he believed he had been drugged.

Officers went to Wilkinson's home and found the man inside. He was taken to hospital and tests found traces of a sedative in his system.

He attended a Sexual Assault Referral Centre for further tests and officers went to Wilkinson's home to arrest him in April.

When they arrived they discovered a 23-year-old man asleep on the sofa. He was also taken to hospital.

There was evidence the man, who attended The Bridge Sexual Assault Centre in Bristol, had been drugged and raped.

During the investigation, officers identified a third victim, a 19-year-old from Wiltshire who was also found to have traces of sedatives in his system.

Pc Mike Steven, said: "The circumstances of this case are truly horrifying.

"The victims have all attended Sexual Assault Referral Centres and are being given continual access to any expert services they may need now or in the future.

"I'd encourage any other victim of Nigel WIlkinson to come forward and speak to us. We're always here and ready to listen to, believe and respect victims.

"Our vital work to change perceptions and improve our response to male victims of rape or sexual assault is continuing to evolve and I hope it's encouraging more victims to find the strength to come forward.

"If you don't want to speak to the police, please speak to someone. Don't suffer in silence."