Photographer who raped woman at his London studio may have targeted others, police say

A photographer who raped a woman at his central London studio may have attacked others, police have said.

Sritharan Sayanthan, 42, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday after being found guilty of two counts of rape and one of attempted rape at Hendon Crown Court.

The victim, a woman in her 30s, went to Sayanthan’s studio on Brompton Road in May 2022 and paid for pictures to be taken.

She met him again on 8 July 2022 for a drink, believing it to be part of a networking process after he contacted her online, Scotland Yard said.

They met at a pub in Warren Street where Sayanthan “encouraged her to drink alcohol which made her intoxicated very quickly”, police said.

The Met added: “He then led the victim to his studio. Here she blacked out on the studio floor. When partially awake she was aware of Sayanthan sexually assaulting her. She was unable to respond verbally or physically.”

The victim, a Chinese national, went to police on 31 July 2022.

She did not go earlier because she was unfamiliar with how rape is investigated in the UK, officers said.

CCTV was discovered showing her “noticeably unsteady on her feet”.

Scotland Yard said: “Statements were gathered from studio staff and further research uncovered several other photography businesses owned by the suspect.”

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Sritharan Sayanthan's photography studio

Image: Sayanthan’s photography studio

Detective Constable Sophie Baker said officers “believe there could be other victims of Sayanthan” and are encouraging “anyone who wants to speak to us to come forward”.

She added: “No piece of information is too small and you will be listened to and supported.”

DC Baker praised the victim, too, describing her as “fantastic from start to finish”.

She sent on: “She was extremely nervous at the prospect of giving evidence but, with the support of an interpreter, she told the court in fine detail what happened.

“For victims, describing the incident in court can be daunting but she did amazingly and I am personally very proud of her bravery and thankful to her for coming forward.”

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