I battled for five years to see my rapist jailed after police LOST my interview tape – their excuse made my blood boil | The Sun

DETERMINED to nail the monster who had raped her, Sam turned on her phone and started to video the dingy flat where he attacked women.

She also recorded a conversation with another of Nuruzzaman Shahin’s victims in the hope it would help police put him behind bars.

And after five months of being terrorised by Shahin, 40, Sam finallywent to the cops for help, armed with films that proved she had been in his lair.

Yet her efforts were almost all in vain after police LOST her interview tapes – and claimed it was “not necessarily our job to recover them”.

A moving documentary tonight follows Sam’s five-year fight for justice after police dropped her case.

She refused to give up and twisted Shahin was finally jailed for 31 years in January this year.

Sam, not her real name, said: “The main thing is he’s not off the streets, is no longer a hazard, is no longer a threat. 

“So I’m safe and everyone else is safe from him too. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Sam’s trauma began in April 2018 when she was travelling the world and ran out of money in London.

She posted a job advert looking for work "as a waitress" but within hours was sent a text offering her £500 a night as an escort.

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Sick Shahin raped Sam and other girlsCredit: MET Police

“It said paying for sex is prostitution and illegal, but paying for somebody’s time wasn’t,” says New Zealander Sam.

“I just kind of thought, you know, that sounds easy.”

Tempted, Sam went to see Shahin at his flat in north London for a face-to-face interview. 

Once inside, Shahin ordered Sam to hand over her passport and demanded to inspect her body – then he raped her.

Sam, who is in her thirties, said: “Everything was just really white. You know, the curtains were white, the walls were white, the duvet was white, the cabinets were white. 

“I was just in a state of, like, panic. I remember, like being fixated on some sort of filming equipment. 

“Before getting on the bed I remember him, you know, like, walking around me. Like looking at my body.

"I remember him positioning me on the end of the bed at one point. And pulling my legs up.

"He didn't look at my face whilst he was raping me. I remember turning my head."


Terrified Sam then agreed to work for Shahin because she was scared there would be "consequences" if she didn't.

She said: “I mean, have I broken the law? Am I going to get a conviction now, am I going to be deported, if I have a disagreement with him? Am I safe? This man knew where I lived."

Despite her fears, Sam bravely took videos of the flat where she and other girls were forced to meet clients.

When she met a girl – named as 'Gabrielle' – she confessed to Sam that she too had been raped.

After putting Shahin’s name into Google, Sam was shocked to find other women he had allegedly raped.

After five months living in fear, in October 2018 Sam finally took her videos and evidence to the police.

She said: "I was anxious. I was depressed. I felt dirty. I felt used. I felt like damaged goods.

"I definitely, at that moment, was like, I want to go to the police but I'm scared to go to the police.

"What are these people going to think of me that I've made a decision to be an escort? And then what, you've been raped?"

Shocking email

Police took Sam's claims seriously and she was moved into a women's refuge, but in August 2019 detectives said they would not be prosecuting her case.

Devastated, Sam couldn't understand why.

But a shocking email chain between officers at the Met police, forwarded to Sam's lawyer, revealed the reason – her interview tapes had been lost.

Even worse, officers wrote that it "wasn't necessarily our job to recover them".

It went on to say their investigation should focus on potential new victims and to "keep away" from cases like Sam’s.

It read: "The three ABE masters (tapes) are now missing. Sad for the victims, but not necessarily our job to recover. There are significant gaps in the case. So in my view, as before, keep away from the 2018 for now, and focus on the current.

"We have some cracking NEW witnesses, and if all goes to plan, there will be one or two or three girls working with him when he is arrested. This will be evidence of his enterprise."


Sam contacted Kate Ellis, a lawyer at the Centre for Women's Justice, who helped her get the investigation reopened.

Sam gave police a second interview but astonishingly it failed to record properly and she had to go back a third time.

She tells the documentary: "I felt really exposed. And it's taking my memory back into a time where I was quite helpless. I don't like that feeling."

The interview was later found, but was among a number of recordings that went missing during the case.

There was more pain to come when, after Shahin was charged in 2021 with 40 offences, police quizzed Sam over the suggestion she colluded with another victim.

She said: "It made me scared to speak to any of the other girls. To know the fear that came out of, am I going to damage this case by speaking to somebody?

"It put me in a bit of a position where I felt like my support network was a little bit fragile. I was a bit fragile."


Shahin was finally jailed in January this year. He was found guilty of eight counts of rape after targetting women who had uploaded their CVs online while looking for work.

His Soul Mates escort agency was a front for his sick abuse of women.

Sentencing Shahin, Judge Levitt said: "As well as paying tribute to the victims, I want to apologise to them all on behalf of the criminal justice system for the fact that it took so long for the defendant to be charged.”

The Metropolitan Police says it is moving to transform the way it investigates rape and serious sexual offences, and has almost doubled its detection rate for rape.

It said: "Victim-survivors are at the forefront of every rape investigation and will always be treated with respect and dignity by officers. 

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'We are now moving to transform the way police investigate rape and serious sexual offences, investing hundreds more officers and staff into targeting abusers, supporting victims, and making women and girls safer. We have almost doubled our detection rate for rape."

Catching My Rapist is on ITV1 and ITVX at 10.45pm tonight.

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