Victim’s family speak of their relief after fugitive Hainault rapist is caught

The family of a rape victim have spoken of their relief after the man convicted of the crime was caught weeks after escaping from a secure mental unit.

Shane Smith was jailed in 2010 after repeatedly raping and tormenting a schoolgirl, including raping and beating her while she was bound by her hands and feet to a bed.

After escaping from a secure mental health hospital in June he was rearrested again six weeks later for allegedly trying to break into a car in Loughton.

A family member who cannot be named for legal reasons said: “He was meant to be in a secure unit, it’s not that secure if he could escape.

“They should stick him in a prison and see how he likes it – he should not be out on the streets.”

Smith, of Robinia Close, Hainault, was a teenager when he repeatedly raped the schoolgirl, violated her at knifepoint and beat her.

He was also captured on CCTV dragging the teenager along by her hair in the street.

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The family member said: “He’s been in the area for five weeks putting pictures on Facebook going about enjoying himself.

“The police should have done more, they should have had more police around here looking for him. It’s lucky the police got him.”

Smith was rearrested last week and appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday. He was charged with theft from a motor vehicle, receiving stolen goods and going equipped for theft.

Smith was convicted of eight counts of rape at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2010. He escaped from the John Howard Centre, in Kenworthy Road, Hackney.

“If he does that when he’s a teenager what’s he going to be like when he’s a grown man? He should not be out,” the family member added.

A spokesman for East London NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust cannot comment on the patient’s escape as this is subject of an investigation. We have already reviewed our security arrangements on the site and a full investigation into this incident has been commissioned.”