Behind its candyfloss pink roses, the honey stone cottage stares out over a deep, green valley to a string of houses beyond.

It is, you might think, an unlikely place for the rape of a drugged victim by a man labelled a 'sexual predator' by police.

The victim – his second – was a married company director who had spent the night at a Chelsea club. The ‘predator’ who picked him up was a florist who spoke of going on all-week binges on London’s ‘chemsex’ scene.

It was December 10, 2021. The victim, who cannot be named, had woken up in a strange bed. He was naked and there was a stranger telling him a taxi was on its way.

He looked at the Google Maps app on his phone, he told jurors. He pinched the screen with his fingers, zooming out and out as he saw he was in Oxfordshire: “I thought, I’m miles from home.”

His panic rose as he realised he had been reported missing. It was a Friday, he was due at work.

The taxi ride from Middle Barton, west Oxfordshire, to the capital cost more than £200.

He was met in London by his wife. He went to hospital, where various tests were carried out – although none found ‘date rape’ drug GHB or ‘G’ in his system.

The matter was reported to the police.

But the victim struggled to explain what happened to him.

The night before he woke up in a stranger’s cottage he had been out drinking with colleagues. They started out at the pub, had wine with dinner then moved on to exclusive club Raffles, on Chelsea’s Kings Road, where their VIP table came with a £900 minimum spend.

Cotswold Journal: Raffles nightclub, Kings RoadRaffles nightclub, Kings Road

His last memory from the club was feeling ‘strange’ and ‘kind of wavy and as if your lips are not working’ as he spoke to the doorman.

He told police officers in a taped interview that he had a ‘tunnel vision’ memory in which a cup was held to his lips as he lay on his side.

Detectives might not have known what had happened to the victim – but they knew where it had happened or, at least, where he’d woken up.

And the rough-stone cottage was already on the police radar.

A couple of weeks earlier another man came forward to report that he had been sexually assaulted in the same property.

Cotswold Journal: The cottage in Middle Barton Picture: OMThe cottage in Middle Barton Picture: OM

That man had been at the house to help Luiz da Silva Neto carry out DIY works. The cottage was rented out by da Silva Neto and his partner as an AirBnB. And on November 9, Neto and the man travelled down together from London in order to sand down the wooden floors.

The first victim claimed to have been drugged, waking up in the night to find Neto performing a sex act on him. The following day, despite claiming to have seen a syringe in the kitchen that left him concerned he’d been spiked the night before, he acted as normal. He fetched bacon and eggs for breakfast and helped finish the DIY. “In a way I was scared,” he said at Neto’s trial.

He went to police after approaching da Silva Neto’s partner, who he knew. It was alleged he had tried to get money out of the partner, although he denied that was a motive.

DI James Holden-White, the senior investigating officer on the Thames Valley probe into Neto’s crimes, said of how his team built their case: “We’ve got one victim telling us who he is and where it happened and another victim saying he doesn’t know who it is but he does know where it happened.

“We’re making that connection between the two. Then we’re looking at the similarity in the two cases in that we believe a drug has been administered with intent to commit these sexual offences

“We obviously think that’s a GHB related compound, which is known as a date rape drug but is also used recreationally - particularly in a chemsex context.”

Officers swooped on da Silva Neto on December 12, two days after the second allegation came to light.

Footage from the arresting officer’s bodyworn camera showed a bleary-eyed Neto reaching for his tracksuit bottoms.

“Alright, Luiz, listen to me,” the officer said. “Put your trousers on. At this point in time you’re under arrest.”

Cotswold Journal: Neto is arrested by the police on December 12 last year Picture: TVPNeto is arrested by the police on December 12 last year Picture: TVP

Found at the flat were phials of clear liquid that, when tested, turned out to be ‘G’ – now a class B drug often used on the chemsex scene thanks to its qualities as an aphrodisiac.

It has, however, got a darker side. Mixed with alcohol and it can prove fatal. It is also known as a ‘date rape drug’, used by high-profile sex attackers like Reynhard Sinaga to knock their victims out.

Police feared that was why Neto had it. Detectives believed he had a modus operandi – or MO – of targeting heterosexual men. “I think what we have is a predatory sex offender who is brazen in the way he’s operated and has an MO that involves targeting people in a position of vulnerability,” DI Holden-White told the Oxford Mail.

Neto rubbished the detectives’ theory when he gave evidence to jurors in June. ‘G’ was just one of the substances he was taking.

Having been introduced to drugs at the same time as he burst onto the London party scene as a fresh-faced 20-something Brazilian student in the early 2010s, he became increasingly dependent on drugs like GBL and crystal meth. In October 2021, a month before his first victim was assaulted, he had been caught in Oxford with a party bag of leftover drugs.

His lifestyle was hedonistic. He could go on week-long binges, taking drugs and having sex with strangers. He would go to parties ‘in nice penthouses in London by the river and the drugs were laid down on the table for free’, he said.

The parties might involve men having sex with each other – either in bedrooms or in what he termed ‘very dirty orgies’. As well as the parties, he would have sex with men in toilets or after meeting them on hook-up apps. The men might be openly gay, bi-sexual or outwardly heterosexual.

On his own admission, on the night of the second assault he was ‘high and horny’. Video clips found on his phone showed him secretly filming men at urinals in various London pubs.

He told jurors of his shame at having taken those videos, blaming them on his addiction to drugs at the time.

But police ascribed a more sinister motive. “He’s spoken to these men, he’s talked to them, asked ‘do you live round here?’ which we believe was to test their sobriety and identify a suitable target,” DI Holden-White said.

Da Silva Neto’s phone led them to more evidence. They found images of the second victim, apparently taken in a flat in London where they briefly stopped before going on to Oxfordshire. Another video showed a glimpse of the man on the toilet at the Middle Barton house before the phone was put in Neto’s back pocket.

Cotswold Journal: Kings Road, Chelsea, where Neto met his second victim in December Picture: OMKings Road, Chelsea, where Neto met his second victim in December Picture: OM

Also detailed on the phone were Neto’s conversations with his drug dealer. Data from the phone revealed how he had travelled from London to Oxfordshire on the night of the assault in November. And a vehicle tracker on the Zipcar hire car Neto was driving in December showed his movements – down to the speed the car was going.

Neto was charged and remanded before Christmas last year.

Six months off drugs and on remand had changed his physique from the diminutive man arrested at his London flat.

But the jury was unconvinced of his account that these were consensual sexual encounters.

They cleared him of kidnapping the second victim but convicted him of drugging and sexually assaulting both victims. He will be sentenced on Thursday.