AN expat wrongly jailed for rapes committed by Brit Mark Dixie has told of his agony after the killer was given two more life sentences.
Hotel receptionist and Dutch national Romano van der Dussen, 43, spent 12 years in a Spanish jail before his conviction was finally quashed last year and said he suffered brutal beatings for being a rapist.
He told the Sun the miscarriage of justice ruined his life and stopped him seeing his daughter grow up.
It was 47-year-old Dixie, who stabbed, raped and murdered 18-year-old model Sally Anne Bowman in Croydon in 2005, who had carried out the attacks.
He is now serving a life sentence of at least 34 years.
Yesterday, he was given two more life sentences after confessing to sex attacks on two women, one when he was just 16.
Romano watched from the public gallery at London’s Southwark crown court as Dixie was jailed for at least 28 years.
Romano was sentenced to 15 years in Spain for three assaults on women in Fuengirola in 2003.
He was put behind bars despite his DNA not matching a sample found on one of the victims and it was later discovered the DNA belonged to Dixie.
Romano said: “I was 30 when I was sent to jail and my daughter was only three at the time and I haven’t seen her since.
“Her mum believed I was innocent at first but then changed her mind when I got found guilty.
“The Spanish police made a huge mistake and if they hadn’t then Sally Anne would still be alive today.
“My whole life was taken away from me and I will never get those years back.
“I’m just trying to stay positive because otherwise it would destroy me.
“Prison was hell. Everyone thought I was a rapist so the prison guards turned a blind eye while the other prisoners attacked me and beat me up.
“My mum died while I was inside as well so I never got to go to her funeral and she never saw that I was proved innocent.”
Dixie admitted the new offences during police interviews in 2015.
He admitted raping a woman and trying to burn her alive in a car park in 1987.
He also bludgeoned a woman’s head and sexually assaulted her in 2002.
Sally Anne was repeatedly stabbed and raped just yards from her front door in Croydon, south London.
Romano added that Sally Anne’s family had been ‘fantastic’ in supporting him.
He said: “They have been amazing and always supported me because they knew I was innocent.”
Sally Anne’s mum Linda, 51, previously said: “It’s obvious Dixie carried out those attacks in Spain.
“I have thought for many years that Romano is innocent and it’s very distressing to know an innocent man is in prison. He should be released immediately.”
Romano was arrested after one of the Fuengirola victims ID’d him in a photo lineup.
“I was with two British people 14 miles away in Torremolinos at the time but they never interviewed them.“
Romano, from Leiden in Holland, was jailed for attempted rape, wounding, robbery and sexual assault.
Romano said: “I’m just trying to rebuild my life.”
- Little Julen and family pictured amid reports rescuers have found DNA - 16 Jan, 2019 @ 14:38
- Police in Spain rescue young man attempting to jump off Ronda bridge - 16 Jan, 2019 @ 14:15
- Police confirm little Julen IS inside the Malaga well after DNA found on fourth day of search - 16 Jan, 2019 @ 12:59
- ‘He loves his tricycle’: Neighbours describe ‘friendly’ toddler Julen and his family’s history of heartbreak as search for tot in Malaga well continues - 15 Jan, 2019 @ 19:35
- Drilling expert claims it’s ‘almost impossible’ for little Julen to have fallen down Malaga well as builder claims he sealed up hole just WEEKS ago - 15 Jan, 2019 @ 18:15
- HEART-WRENCHING: Parents of trapped boy have slept next to Malaga well since Sunday and are ‘dead inside’ as rescue attempt enters THIRD day - 15 Jan, 2019 @ 14:22
- WATCH: ISIS terrorist cuffed in popular British expat hotspot on Spain’s Costa del Sol was ‘ready to attack’ after taking deadly oath - 15 Jan, 2019 @ 13:15
- British expats in Spain should get Spanish driving licences ASAP, UK government Brexit memo warns - 15 Jan, 2019 @ 11:50
- Fears grow for boy, 2, trapped down Malaga well for over 18 hours as desperate rescue attempt continues - 14 Jan, 2019 @ 14:00
- WATCH: Two fuming drivers stop cars to BRAWL among traffic on Marbella’s Golden Mile - 11 Jan, 2019 @ 17:15