Man who raped woman then high-fived friend fainted in court and knocked himself out on dock as verdict delivered

Lizzie Dearden, Peter Stubley
Ferdinando Orlando and Lorenzo Costanzo were convicted of rape: Metropolitan Police

A man seen high-fiving his friend after they raped a woman in a nightclub only learned he had been found guilty when he arrived at hospital after knocking himself out in court.

Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, collapsed as his accomplice Ferdinando Orlando, 25, was convicted by the jury, hitting his head on the security screen around the dock.

He then fell backwards and began convulsing on the floor before his own guilty verdict could be announced at Isleworth Crown Court.

They were later jailed for seven-and-a-half years each.

“I had to jump into the box to put him in the recovery position,” said detective sergeant Rebecca Woodsford, who led the police investigation which brought the attackers to justice. “An ambulance turned up and we had to take him to hospital. Then the barristers and solicitors took the verdict to him in hospital.”

Costanzo and Orlando, both Italian nationals, were convicted of rape last month after jurors heard the 23-year-old victim suffered “severe injuries” during the attack in Soho, London.

CCTV cameras filmed the pair approaching the woman, who did not know them and was “visibly drunk and unsteady on her feet”, on the dancefloor of the club in Argyll Street at around 2am on 25 February 2017.

Just eight minutes later, after dancing and taking turns to kiss her, the two men escorted her into a maintenance room and raped her.

The video footage then showed the attackers running up stairs out of the club and giving each other a high-five before watching videos they filmed of the attack on a mobile phone.

Staff at the club found the victim in the toilets more than an hour later. A French couple helped her get home but she was in such pain that her housemate called for paramedics and police.

Costanzo left the UK for Italy hours after the attack but was arrested at Heathrow Airport on 15 March when he returned to watch a football game.

Orlando had also fled the country but agreed to hand himself in to police after learning his friend had been detained.

After they were sentenced on Friday afternoon, DS Woodford told reporters Costanza made a full recovery after the incident in court.

“We are not used to defendants knocking themselves out in the box,” she said.

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