Bristol

Solo 45 trial: Police 'labelled grime artist a rapist'

Andy Anokye
Image caption Andy Anokye denies all of the charges against him

A grime artist who is accused of rape and false imprisonment by four women was "labelled a rapist" by police, his defence barrister has said.

Andy Anokye, who performs as Solo 45, denies 31 charges including 22 of rape.

Sally O'Neil QC told Bristol Crown Court the police investigation had "labelled him as a rapist and didn't care about the rest".

Summing up she said Mr Anokye had a fascination with rape games but this did not make the sex non-consensual.

'Veiled threat'

Ms O'Neil told the jury she had "serious concerns" over the way the police investigation had been handled by officers in Avon and Somerset Police.

She said Mr Anokye's "fame brought him access to women" and that he "liked to film sex", but this did not make it non-consensual.

She said Det Con Ryan Matthews, who was the lead officer on the case from April 2017 until January 2019, was "out of his depth and out of his capabilities".

Ms O'Neil said police approached a number of women after finding videos on Mr Anokye's mobile phone and had used a "veiled threat that the videos could be used by the defence" to get them to come forward.

She went on to say the defence had no opportunity to talk to Det Con Waters, another officer on the case, who admitted in an email to there being "failings in the investigation".

She told the jury she would have liked to have known what he meant by this, but he had been off work.

"It's up to you to decide if this has had an impact on the case," she said.

Mr Anokye was arrested in 2017 after a woman claimed she had been raped at his waterfront apartment in Bristol.

The judge has begun summing up and is expected to continue on Wednesday.

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