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Photographer jailed for drugging and raping men at his house in Bristol

Police said Nigel Wilkinson would ply male models with alcohol laced with sedatives.

Nigel Wilkinson
Nigel Wilkinson
Image: Avon and Somerset Police,

A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO drugged and raped two men at his home in Bristol has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years at Bristol Crown Court.

Nigel Brent Wilkinson (43) admitted two counts of rape, three counts of administering a substance with intent to rape and possession of class C drugs Flunitrazepam (also known as Rohypnol) and Nitrazepam.

Wilkinson was being investigated for offences against a 19-year-old man from Kent earlier this year. Officers went to his home in April to arrest him and found a second victim asleep on his couch.

Avon and Somerset Police said traces of sedatives were found in both victims’ urine samples and further DNA evidence linked Wilkinson to sexual offences committed on them.

During the investigation police identified a third victim – a 19-year-old from Wiltshire, who was also found to have traces of sedatives in his system.

Officers are continuing to investigate Wilkinson’s background. They have appealed to anyone who has been in a relationship with him or has had contact with him though his photography work or dating websites to contact them.

Detective Constable Stacey Matthews said: Wilkinson “promoted himself as a male fitness photographer and last summer set up an online enterprise called WilkoPhotography”.

“He’d use social media to identify men he wanted to photograph and would invite them to Bristol for a photoshoot.

The men would often stay at his home and throughout their visit he would ply them with alcoholic drinks, some of which were laced with sedatives.

Matthews said the investigation began in February, when Kent Police were called by the girlfriend of the 19-year-old victim who received a concerning text message from him saying he believed he’d been drugged.

“We went to Wilkinson’s home and found the victim inside. He was taken to hospital and tests were carried out which found traces of a sedative in his system.

“He attended a sexual assault referral centre for more tests and our investigation continued, resulting in officers attending Wilkinson’s home in April to arrest him.

“When they arrived, they found a 23-year-old man asleep on the sofa. He was also taken to hospital and then the Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Bristol. There was evidence he’d been drugged and raped.

The victims have shown immense bravery, dignity and courage throughout our investigation and I’d like to thank them for the support they’ve given the investigation team. These crimes have had a significant impact on them and their families.

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Matthews said police believe there are more victims and urged them to come forward.

Improving services 

PC Mike Steven, who is leading Avon and Somerset’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness of male rape and sexual assault, said: “The circumstances of this case are truly horrifying.

“The victims have all attended sexual assault referral centres and are being given continual access to any expert services they may need now or in the future.

I’d encourage any other victim of Nigel WIlkinson to come forward and speak to us. We’re always here and ready to listen to, believe and respect victims.

“Our vital work to change perceptions and improve our response to male victims of rape or sexual assault is continuing to evolve and I hope it’s encouraging more victims to find the strength to come forward.

“If you don’t want to speak to the police, please speak to someone. Don’t suffer in silence.”

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Órla Ryan

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