Aman Vyas trial: Serial rapist guilty of 2009 rapes and murder

Michelle Samaraweera Image copyright Metropolitan Police/PA Wire
Image caption Michelle Samaraweera was raped and murdered in Walthamstow after she went out to buy some snacks early in the morning of 30 May 2009

A serial rapist who preyed on lone women at night has been convicted of the murder of one of his victims more than a decade after her death.

Aman Vyas was extradited from India to face trial for multiple rapes and a murder in Walthamstow, east London.

The 35-year-old was convicted of five counts of rape, causing grievous bodily harm with intent and the murder of Michelle Samaraweera, 35, in 2009.

He pleaded guilty to a separate count of rape at an earlier hearing.

Vyas, then aged 24, followed his first victim into her block of flats before she was raped and beaten in her own home shortly after midnight on 24 March 2009.

He threatened his second victim before violently raping her in an alleyway just after midnight on 22 April the same year.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Aman Vyas, who was living in Walthamstow and working at a dry cleaners at the time of the offences, fled the UK after committing his crimes

Vyas followed his third victim from a shop before attacking her and raping her in a churchyard in the early hours of 29 April.

Ms Samaraweera, Vyas’ final victim, was attacked as she walked home from a late night supermarket shop on 30 May.

She was raped and left in a children’s play area with all her shopping before a passer-by discovered her body in the morning.

Post-mortem examinations found Ms Samaraweera had died as a result of pressure to her neck.

Vyas, who was living in Walthamstow and working at a dry cleaners at the time of the offences, fled the UK one month after her death.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ms Samaraweera was attacked as she walked home from a Texaco petrol station on 30 May 2009

But a 2010 public appeal, which included CCTV images of a person of interest, raised the suspicions of Vyas’ former employer, who recognised him and contacted police.

Vyas was extradited back to the UK from India in October 2019.

His four victims were aged from their thirties to fifties.

Aisling Hosein, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “These were violent attacks by a sexual predator who prowled Walthamstow by night looking for lone women.

“I would like to highlight the courage of the victims who came forward to assist in bringing this man to justice and those that bravely gave evidence in court against their attacker.

“I hope today’s verdict will provide some comfort to the victims and their families and in particular for the loved ones of Michelle Samaraweera, who were finally able to get justice for her murder.”

Vyas will be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on 21 August.