Soho nightclub rape: Italian pair who filmed themselves raping woman are jailed

22 November 2019, 10:21 | Updated: 23 November 2019, 06:56

Two Italian men have been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for raping a woman in a Soho nightclub in an attack so brutal she needed surgery.

Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, filmed themselves carrying out the assault on the victim at a club in Argyll Street, central London, in the early hours of 26 February 2017.

They claimed the sex was consensual and were seen high-fiving each other after the attack, but were convicted of four counts of rape.

The pair met the 23-year-old on the dance floor of the Toy Room club at around 2am and they both began to kiss her, the trial at Isleworth Crown Court heard.

CCTV showed the victim was visibly drunk as she was passed between the two men who took turns to kiss her.

Eight minutes after meeting, they had to prop her up as they took her to a maintenance room where they broke a lock to get in and raped her.

They emerged about 16 minutes later and rearranged her clothing before supporting her to the female toilets where they left her.

Footage showed the pair running up the stairs of the London club and high-fiving each other, before watching video of the attack on a phone and showing it to someone else.

Police said they made lewd gestures and re-enacted to each other their actions during the rape.

The victim was discovered in the toilets an hour later and was helped home by a French couple.

Her housemate found her to be in such severe pain that an ambulance and police were called and she was taken to hospital for surgery.

The men evaded justice for more than a year after returning to their home country, but were caught when Orlando came to the UK in March 2018 to watch his team play Arsenal.

He was arrested at Heathrow airport, taken into custody and charged with rape the following day.

Costanzo contacted police after Orlando's arrest and arranged to return to the UK, where he was also detained and charged.

In an impact statement, the victim said she remembered feeling in "incredible pain" and was left barely able to walk.

The rape has left her in "constant fear" and unable to relax or enjoy drinking with friends when she goes out.

The victim, who could not remember the attack, added: "When I found out more than one man was involved I felt violently ill with the thought that two men did something this horrible... to me."

After discovering her attackers had filmed the rape, she said she felt "so angry" it "made me want to vomit".

She added: "I truly struggle with how two humans could behave like such animals to another person and think of that as funny and like a badge of honour.

"I did not consent to having sex with either or both of these people that night or at any other time."

A spokesman for the Toy Room club said: "We're appalled by this incident, and our thoughts go out to the victim."