NewsCrime World

Polish rapist jailed for life for violent sex attacks

Rafal Bargiel
Rafal Bargiel

A convicted Polish rapist who came to Britain under a false identity before subjecting two young women to prolonged and violent sexual attacks to "teach them a lesson" has been jailed for life in the UK.

Rafal Bargiel, 40, wooed his victims by posing as a Jaguar-driving "sugar daddy" on a dating website.

In November last year he collected a 19-year-old woman from a London train station late at night, drove her to a remote field near Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, and beat her until she complied with his extreme sexual demands.

His victim told police but, unaware of his criminal past, detectives released him on bail while they investigated her claims.

Then in April this year her took a 22-year-old woman to a hotel room in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, where he stripped her, tied her up, held a knife to her throat and repeatedly raped her in a depraved night-long ordeal.

Bargiel, who was obsessed with extreme domination, had slipped into Britain under a fake name after serving an "extraordinarily lenient" sentence for a "strikingly similar" offence in his native Poland, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Jurors found him guilty of six counts of rape of a female over 16, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault and one of causing a female to engage in sexual activity without consent.

Jailing him Judge Andrew Bright QC said the offences were "of the most serious kind".

He said: "You pose a very high risk of serious harm to young women, that is plain. You told both women that you were committing these offences upon them to teach other young women like them a lesson.

"I do not understand what you meant by that, neither did they, but it shows the danger you pose."

Bargiel had denied the offences, claiming the women had consented to take part in extreme sex, although he had a previous conviction in Poland dating back to 2011 for a brutal rape when he was jailed for just two and a half years.

On his release he changed his name to Tomasz Puchalski, evading immigration authorities when he moved to Britain and found work as a "driver".

The predator lured the young Polish women into the trap posing as a "sugar daddy" who would "pay for dinner" with the expectation of sex. A knife, gag, video camera, false identification documents and rope were later found in his car.

Detective Constable Allan Burnham, from Hertfordshire Police's sexual offences investigation team, said the young women's ordeals were "possibly two of the most horrific cases" he had seen in his career.

The constabulary confirmed the rapist was on police bail at the time of his second, more serious attack, but his false identity and counterfeit documents meant they were unaware he was a convicted sex offender.

Bargiel appeared distracted and looked at the ceiling as the judge passed a determinate life sentence of 18 years with a minimum term of eight years and 130 days.

The judge said: "The psychological damage you caused to both girls was plain from the evidence they gave and they will potentially suffer psychological trauma until the day they die."

He added: "Having heard evidence of each of these girls I have no doubt that they were at times in fear for their lives and might be killed.

"You intended that they feared for their lives and their fear heightened the sexual pleasure you experienced."