North London park rapist jailed after detectives hunt him down through bank card

Aurel Surugiu (Met Police)
Aurel Surugiu (Met Police)

A rapist has been jailed after homicide detectives linked him to a north London sex attack through a bank card he used to buy a takeaway on the night of the crime.

Aurel Surugiu, 40, attacked his victim in Watling Park, Edgware, in September 2023, the Old Bailey had heard.

She had been sitting on a bench when he accosted her and then raped her in the park. The victim appealed for help from two passers by who alerted the police.

A trawl of footage from the area around the crime scene found CCTV of Surugiu in the area at the time of the attack and in a chicken shop.

Officers linked the bank card he used to buy his meal through a financial records check and he was identified, arrested and charged.

He was found guilty Old Bailey of rape and sexual assault by penetration. The rapist was jailed for 11 years at a sentencing hearing at the same court on May 17.

Detective Constable Pat Leonte who led the investigation said: “Having made rapid enquiries, I am pleased we were able to identify and arrest Surugiu so soon after this incident. Women in Edgware and Burnt Oak are safer without him on the streets.

“The victim in this case attended court to give evidence. She was nervous, but I am confident that my colleagues and I gave her every possible support, and I know she is content that she has seen justice done.

“I'd also like to take the opportunity to thank the two young men who called police and waited with her until officers arrived."