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Former soldier from East Ham sentenced to 16 years for rape

PUBLISHED: 09:26 21 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:26 21 April 2015

Khoorban was a serving soldier in the Royal Artillery based at Woolwich barracks

Khoorban was a serving soldier in the Royal Artillery based at Woolwich barracks

Archant

A former soldier from Newham who served in the British Army was yesterday jailed for 16 years for the rape of two young women.

Solomon Khoorban, 33, of Bartle Avenue, East Ham, attacked the women during separate incidents just two months apart in 2003.

Then a serving soldier in the Royal Artillery based at Woolwich barracks, Khoorban carried out the first attack on a 16-year-old girl at the Equinox nightclub in the West End on June 29, 2003.

The teenager was on a night out with friends when she was approached by Khoorban inside the nightclub in Leicester Square.

He befriended the girl before luring her into a deserted section of the club where he launched a violent and prolonged attack.

He then fled the venue.

Eight weeks later Khoorban struck again during the early hours of August 18.

His 32-year-old victim was returning home from a night out when she was approached from behind on grassland near Beaconsfield Road, Greenwich.

She was subjected to a ferocious sexual assault before Khoorban made off.

Both women immediately reported the attacks to the police and separate investigations were launched by Operation Sapphire.

No arrests were made at the time.

In September 2014, the Met’s Specialist Crime and Operations Command carried out a review of both investigations and subsequently identified Khoorban as suspect.

He was arrested at his home address on November 24, 2014. Khoorban’s DNA matched samples taken from the 2003 attacks.

He was charged on November 25, 2014, with two counts of rape in relation to the 16-year-old and a further rape regarding the 32-year-old.

Khoorban, aged 21 at the time of the assaults, pleaded guilty to all three counts on March 13, 2015, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Khoorban enlisted with the British Army in 2001 and became a gunner in the Royal Artillery’s 16th Regiment.

During his career he served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Germany before being dismissed in 2007 following allegations of drug-taking.

He was sentenced yesterday at Snaresbrook Crown Court, watched by both victims.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Matt Flynn praised the bravery of the two victims.

He said: “Both young women were subjected to horrific and gratuitous ordeals at the hands of a dangerous and predatory individual.

“It is only due to their courage and fortitude that Khoorban was charged with these abhorrent and cowardly attacks. Without their support he would not have been brought to justice.”

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