"It left me feeling personally violated and terrified"
Vishaal Vijapura, aged 28, of Croydon, was jailed for two years and eight months for a terrifying stalking campaign. The graduate created a ‘rape list’ on Instagram with the names of 191 potential victims.
He also created a post titled ‘Why r is better than sex: a thread’ in which he explained why he would prefer to rape someone rather than have consensual sex.
Croydon Crown Court heard he used multiple usernames across different social media platforms to anonymously stalk and message women he did not know.
When he was blocked by a victim on one account, he would create another and continue to message them.
An investigation into Vijapura’s crimes found that his email was linked to at least 28 different social media accounts between June 2020 to January 2021, when he was arrested.
Police also found eight excel spreadsheets with lists of 191 names, home addresses, genders, dates of birth, phone numbers, names of relatives and Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram usernames.
Police found that 150 of the names were traceable, real people.
On the Notes app on his mobile phone, investigators found typed essays detailing sexual abuse and rape fantasies which he had sent out to some victims.
One female student said she received a threat to rape her in her own home and publish a video of the attack online “in the hope it would go viral”.
She said: “It left me feeling personally violated and terrified for my safety, vilified, humiliated, and worthless.”
Another woman tried to block the Maths graduate 25 times as he repeatedly sent her explicit and threatening messages.
She said she was “too scared to leave home” and “so worried I was going to be attacked and raped in my own home just like the person said they were going to do to me”.
Vijapura was caught after several victims made complaints to police and his IP address was traced.
The graduate pleaded guilty to seven counts of stalking involving fear of violence.
His barrister Cathy Ryan accepted that his victims believed the threats were real but Vijapura was actually “a nerdy young man sitting alone in his attic bedroom spirally into anger and frustration at the hand he felt life had dealt him”.
She said her client failed to start a romantic relationship and during the Covid-19 lockdown, he increasingly began watching violent pornography.
Ms Ryan said he “created the rape list because he wanted to upset them as he himself had been upset”.
Vijapura was jailed for two years and eight months. A sexual harm prevention order was also successfully sought as well as a restraining order prohibiting the graduate from directly or indirectly contacting any name on the list he had created for life.
Helen Shaw, from the CPS, said:
“Vishaal Vijapura carried out a shocking, truly frightening and vicious campaign of stalking against a number of victims.”
“His conduct involved hiding behind a screen and anonymously using social media to threaten to inflict extreme and graphic sexual violence upon his victims.
“All of these victims were unknown to him, and yet Vijapura paid at least £500 to use research tools such as ancestry.co.uk and 192.com to find out about their lives and instil the fear of physical violence into them.
“The harmful impact upon his victims cannot be underestimated.
“Many of them described feeling petrified in their own homes as a result of Vijapura’s behaviour.
“His actions have also continued to have a significant impact upon their day-to-day lives in the long term.
“I would like to thank the victims for assisting with this large and complex investigation that has seen Vijapura held to account.
“Stalking can be deeply distressing, and the CPS is committed to working with the police to root out offenders and bring them before the courts to face justice.”