Five years for woman who used date-rape drug to rob victims — (The Scotsman)

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The Scotsman

KAREN MCVEIGH

A FEMME fatale who used the powerful date rape drug Rohypnol to knock out wealthy businessmen before robbing them was jailed for five years yesterday as detectives revealed she had struck at least six times.

Selina Hakki, 37, became the first woman to be convicted of using the sedative on men to steal thousands of pounds worth of property.

Two of her victims, the film director Alex Jovy, 34, producer of the Oscar-nominated movie, Sorted, and City banker Volker Vogler, 38, gave evidence of how she drugged them after they invited her back to their homes for a nightcap. Two other men, John Estill and Henry Okereke, were also drugged and robbed by Hakki but they refused to give evidence.

Yesterday, police said they have linked Hakki to a further two victims. They believe she could have “many more” who were reluctant to come forward.

British Guyana-born Hakki, a mother of two, cruised exclusive night clubs in central London, looking for prey. She would look out for visible signs of wealth, such as designer clothes and expensive watches, before homing in on her intended victims. Once back at their homes for a nightcap, she would spike glasses of red wine – used to conceal the drug’s blue dye.

She met Mr Vogler at the Hilton Hotel’s rooftop Piano Bar, near Hyde Park Corner. After commenting on his “fancy” Versace clothes, she suggested they go to his Knightsbridge apartment for a drink.

The last thing he remembered, he told the court, was a half-naked Hakki suggesting they go to bed. He came to the next morning, alone and dizzy. He tried to go to work, but after nearly collapsing, staggered back to bed and again passed out. He next awoke later to find property missing worth £2,000.

Sixteen months later Hakki targeted a drunken Mr Jovy as he enjoyed an evening with old school friends at the Aura nightclub near Piccadilly.

He too, stumbled out of bed to find his £5,000 Rolex, a £9,000 video camera, a £2,000 Cartier clock and other property missing.

Hakki was finally arrested after police discovered her DNA on cigarette butts she smoked in both Mr Jovy and Mr Vogler’s flats, and on her fingerprints left on a wine glass at Mr Jovy’s house.

Police found a haul of items, including a Tiffany clock, Rolex and Omega watches and a video camera at her east London flat. They believe she also sold many items.

Jailing Hakki, Judge Henry Blacksell, QC, said her offences demonstrated “a degree of planning, sophistication and controlling behaviour”.

He said that what she did to the two men had a traumatic effect on them. He would never forget how Mr Jovy pleaded for the return of the Rolex watch his late father bought him for his 21st birthday. He added: “They had to give evidence in the full glare of publicity about a difficult time in their lives brought about by you administering this drug.

“They were left senseless. It is no thanks to you they did not suffer any physical long-term effects. Certainly they did mentally.”

The jury at London’s Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court took just 20 minutes last month to convict Hakki of four offences, two of administering a stupefying drug with intent to steal and two of theft between May 2002 and August the following year.

Defence counsel Bernard Eaton told the court that Hakki herself had been taking Rohypnol and the anti-depressant Prozac at the time of the incidents, as she was then separated from her husband.