A city financier found guilty of a string of rapes of women he met on the internet and in bars may have struck many times previously, police warned yesterday.
Brian Witty, 41, a former Territorial Army captain with the Parachute Regiment, was convicted of raping three women and sexually assaulting another over 16 years.
He met two of the women on the website DatingDirect.com, the other two after chance encounters in pubs.
Three were raped after being invited back to his flat and the other was sexually assaulted in an alley near Covent Garden, central London.
After the convictions yesterday, it was revealed Witty had been found guilty of assaults on the mother of his 17-year-old son and a previous girlfriend.
The court heard that Witty, who drove an Aston Martin and earned around £140,000 a year, could be sentenced to life imprisonment for ‘public protection’.
On his internet profile on DatingDirect, Witty described himself as ‘intelligent, attractive, witty and fun to be with’, and added: ‘I enjoy meeting like-minded intelligent, humorous individuals (females only please!) who want to have some fun/sparkle in their lives.’
Once his dates were arranged, powerfully-built Witty would typically ply his victims with drink before forcing them to have sex.
When they begged him to stop he ‘steamed on regardless’ and afterwards would pretend nothing had happened.
When his first victim rebuffed his sexual advances, he leapt out of bed and said: ‘I can’t believe this. I’m a good-looking bloke.’
Edmund Gritt, prosecuting, said: ‘The prosecution’s case is Witty does not take no for an answer.’
Attempting to explain why four women who had never met would all accuse him, Witty, of Teddington, South-West London, said he had no idea, other than that two of them might have ‘a screw loose’.
He added: ‘I really do believe that my mistake, if any mistake, is one of thinking with my d*** and then you know I’m paying for it later.’
After a five-week trial, a jury of eight women and four men convicted Witty on three counts of rape and one sexual assault.
Judge Nicholas Price QC told Witty at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court: ‘It is inevitable that you will be sentenced to a very long term of imprisonment.
‘The only issue that this court has to decide is whether your behaviour is such as it has been over a period now of many years that you should be considered to be dangerous, and liable to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for public protection.’
Police and prosecutors came under fire from women’s groups because Witty’s attacks covered 16 years before he was stopped, despite three women reporting that he had raped them.
Women Against Rape said: ‘The trial has shown, once again, that with serial rapists police and CPS have a serial response – they believe the rapist rather than his victim.’
Police appealed for other women to come forward who think they may have been attacked by Witty.
His father Brian senior, who separated from Witty’s mother Yvonne, said: ‘I don’t know where it all went wrong with Brian. He was always a very clever lad, but he knew it. He thought I was an a*******.
Even as a young lad he would look down on me because I was a labourer.
‘He is the type of person who, if you didn’t do what he wanted you to do, you would know about it.’
A clue to Witty’s hatred of women may be found in his ‘tumultuous’ relationship to his mother.
His father said their rows sometimes led to ‘fistfights’. She died of an alcohol-related condition in 2004.
|Happy : Witty in his proud military days;|