Photographer sexually assaulted client

A photographer who sexually assaulted a former client has been jailed for 11 years.

Sritharan Sayanthan, 42, was found guilty on two counts of rape of a woman in her 30s who he assaulted while she was partly unconscious.

The owner of a photographic studio in Fitzrovia encouraged his victim to get drunk on alcohol at a pub before leading her to his premises, Hendon Crown Court heard.

Following his sentence, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order will be imposed on the photographer.

After taking the victim back to his studio on Charlotte Street, he assaulted her after she blacked out on the floor.

When partially awake the woman became aware she was being sexually harassed and her clothes had been stripped, she was unable to say or do anything.

Sritharan Sayanthan raped his victim after leading her back to his photo studio (pictured) on Charlotte Street where she fell unconscious. Image: Met Police.

The rapist then put her clothes back on and led her to Warren Street Station where CCTV footage showed her walking unsteadily.

The victim, of Chinese nationality, reported the offence on July 31 2022.

Detective Constable Sophie Baker from the Met Police Central North Command, said: “The victim survivor in this case was fantastic from start to finish. 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.

“We also believe there could be other victims of Sayanthan and would encourage anyone who wants to speak to us to come forward. No piece of information is too small and you will be listened to and supported.”

Sayanthan was previously charged with former allegations of sexual assault against clients in 2012 and 2015.

Both cases were dropped due to difficulties finding evidence, but the offender’s previous history was used as an example of his bad character.

Other victims of Sayanthan, who is believed to own several photography premises, are urged to come forward.

DC Baker added: “By working with our partners across the criminal justice system, we are determined to bring offenders to justice.

“We will prioritise action against sexual and violent, predatory offenders and we would ask any victim or witness to sexual assault, to please contact us. We have specially trained officers who will help and support you.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency, with REF 1852/31JUL22.

Image: Met Police.

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