An Albanian man has been jailed for 29 years for abseiling into a woman’s home and carrying out a horrific attack which left her needing life-saving treatment.
Fatmir Stafasani, 49 and from Islington, gained entry to the roof of the victim’s home in Fulham, before setting up a makeshift climbing rig and abseiling into her flat via a skylight on March 20.
Once inside the property, he waited around an hour for the victim to return. When she got back to her flat at around 2.30pm, Stafasani bludgeoned her with a crowbar, stabbed her with a knife and left her for dead. A subsequent investigation found that nothing had been stolen from the house.
The victim managed to crawl to a neighbouring flat and raise the alarm before falling unconscious. She had suffered five skull fractures, a fractured hand and fingers, and lacerations to her hand.
She was taken to hospital and spent nine days in a coma. Although she was subsequently discharged, the victim continues to suffer physical and emotional injury as a result of the attack.
Police enquiries - including analysis of CCTV, witness accounts, monitoring of vehicle movements using automatic number-plate recognition technology and scrutinising mobile phone data - identified Stafasani while the victim was in a coma.
This identification was subsequently confirmed by the victim as she recovered in hospital, and Stafasani's DNA would later be found at the scene.
Stafasani was arrested in Brent on May 11 and was charged the following day with attempted murder and aggravated burglary.
He stood trial at Southwark Crown Court and was found guilty on Tuesday, 21 November, of attempted murder and aggravated burglary. Throughout his trial he remained silent.
He was sentenced today (November 23), to a total of 18 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder and 11 years' imprisonment for the aggravated burglary. The judge also issued Stafasani with an extended licence of four years due to him being deemed a dangerous offender.
Detective Inspector Damian Ash, the senior investigating officer on the case, said:
"This was a particularly heinous attack in the victim's own home, which involved careful and premeditated planning by Stafasani.
"He abseiled into her flat and lay in wait before carrying out a vicious attack and leaving her for dead.
"We do not know the motive behind this attack. Fatmir Stafasani has remained silent throughout, and even now has shown no emotion.
"I'd like to pay tribute to Detective Constable Alex Rum who worked tirelessly on the case, to the medical staff at St Mary's Hospital who no doubt saved the victim's life and most of all to the victim herself who showed great courage throughout this investigation.
"The investigation team and I hope she can continue to make the best possible recovery."