A man who fled from Poland to South London while being wanted on suspicion of two rapes was caught living near a primary school in Croydon. Fugitive Lukasz Cholomek was allowed to enter the UK despite serving jail time for a sex attack back in his home country.
He was living close to West Thornton Primary School when he was captured by the Metropolitan Police, and police fear he may have attacked women here in the capital. When Cholomek, who is in his mid-30s, was captured in January, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to “stop at nothing” to stop people from “roaming here unchecked”. Polish police said his jail term was for an offence “similar” to the two rapes he is suspected of. He moved to the UK sometime after the last suspected attack, in 2017, The Mirror reported. He will now be kicked out of Britain.
His alleged crimes were outlined in 2020 as part of a BBC Crimewatch appeal by Polish police. A spokesperson for Polish police says Cholomek is accused of inflicting sustained mental and physical abuse on his alleged victim over a period of six months. During this time frame, he allegedly raped her twice, which involved pinning the woman down and covering her mouth.
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The alleged victim told police Cholomek threatened to kill her and kicked her all over her body during the suspected attacks in Katowice, 300 miles south of the Polish capital Warsaw. He featured in a TV appeal alongside four other wanted men from Eastern Europe when a detective warned that he “must not be approached”.
Cholomek is currently on remand in Wandsworth jail pending his extradition – which has already been approved by Westminster magistrates. Foreign criminals sentenced to more than a year in prison are banned from entering the UK as part of the post-Brexit points-based immigration system implemented in January 2021.
Ms Patel has said murderers and rapists from overseas “should not be staying in our country”. It comes after a fugitive who went on the run after a double murder in Poland was jailed for killing an ex-police officer here last month.
Sylwester Krajewski fled after being released on licence for five days, having served half of a 25-year sentence for murdering a husband and wife in 1992. Last year he killed former police officer Clive Porter, 63, in Aylesbury, Bucks. Krajewski, 50, was sentenced to life in prison last month. And in another case, a suspected killer from Afghanistan managed to slip into Britain under a false name.
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