A cab driver who was wrongly arrested on suspicion of rape said his ordeal left him feeling suicidal.
Francis Miiro, 38, was driving along Brighton Road with his girlfriend on January 30 when he was stopped by police and arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in her Benhill estate flat earlier that month.
Mr Miiro was unable to work for several weeks while he was on bail
The Brunswick Road man was held for 36 hours and despite his DNA not matching that found on the scene and not being picked out of a line-up by the victim, he was released on bail and had his driving licence seized meaning he could not work.
Mr Miiro, a father-of-one, remained on bail until March 5 when he was finally allowed to return to normal life - but not before he had to explain the situation to his daughter, his co-workers and his friends.
Now he says the incident has affected his life to the extent that it has harmed his relationship with his girlfriend and left him feeling suicidal.
He told the Sutton Guardian: "I was just driving along when I got stopped. The officer said 'can you wind down your window' and then 'you're under arrest on suspicion of rape'. It was terrifying.
"He looked at my driver's licence, turned to his mate, and said 'yes, that's him'."
Mr Miiro was arrested because of his resemblance to an e-fit the police released of the a man suspected of posing as a council worker in order to rape the woman on January 11.
He added: "They showed me the e-fit and said 'it looks like you', I said 'how does that look like me - every black man is different'."
The e-fit released by police after the rape in January
Mr Miiro was arrested at 6am and by 2pm the inconclusive identity parade had taken place.
However, Mr Miiro was told he would have to wait until the results of his DNA test were returned from a lab.
Mr Miiro said after 36 hours the DNA test had come back as not a match, and was released on bail only to find out both his and his sister's homes had been raided while he was being held. His passport and driver's licence were seized.
He was given his passport back so he could go on a planned trip to his home country of Uganda but his driver's licence was retained meaning he was unable to work.
He added: "I had to explain to people what had happened. My daughter was expecting me to pick her up to take her to school that day and I had to tell her what had happened and she would have to think 'is my daddy a rapist?'.
"The people I work with, they look at me differently now, I can see it in people's reactions. It's changed things for me and my girlfriend as well.
"The whole thing is terrible. I've been feeling suicidal - what's the point when I've done nothing wrong and this happens?"
A Metropolitan police spokesman said a complaint had been received regarding the arrest but said they could not comment on the case.
Police are still appealing for information in relation to the rape on the Benhill estate on January 11. If you have information, you can call police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Chimney fire at Sutton home extinguished after two hours
- Care home could be demolished and replaced with new complex almost double in size
- Vets surgery given the go-ahead to open in empty Nonsuch Park lodge despite claims it "would destroy wildlife habitat"
- Tonnes of debris left in the road, but could Christmas card hold clue to the culprit?
- Hospital car parking charges set to rise as part of year of "unpopular decisions" at Epsom and St Helier