Canal sex attacker still on loose

PUBLISHED: 12:53 26 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

A sex attacker who assaulted a schoolgirl next to the Regent s Canal in St John s Wood is still on the loose. The man approached the 15-year-old when she was on her lunch break and walking on the towpath near Prince Albert Road. He forced her to engage in

A sex attacker who assaulted a schoolgirl next to the Regent's Canal in St John's Wood is still on the loose.

The man approached the 15-year-old when she was on her lunch break and walking on the towpath near Prince Albert Road.

He forced her to engage in sexual activity with him under a bridge but let her go after a mother pushing a pram approached at about 2pm on September 9.

Police hope to find the woman who disturbed the attacker as they believe she could help them solve the case.

As news of the incident spread throughout the area, local people have expressed their concern.

Kirsty Short, 21, from Regent's Park, said: "It's absolutely shocking. I run along the path two or three times a week and I've always thought that, as long as I leave before it gets dark, I'll be safe.

"I know the stretch further down towards Camden has a reputation for drug dealing. But I would have thought up here, right next to the park, would be safer - especially at lunchtime.

"For something like this to happen in broad daylight to a schoolgirl is horrible. It makes me think twice about coming down here alone."

Police are issuing renewed appeals for information about the attacker.

He is described as a white man, aged about 50, balding and overweight. He was wearing a grey or navy blue tracksuit and spoke with an English accent.

Stephanie Grant, from Chalk Farm, also walking alone along the canal towpath, said: "I'm very shocked because I would have thought it would be safe at that time of day.

"I certainly wouldn't walk down here at night. But at 2pm you don't expect that kind of thing to happen.

"It would make me more wary of coming down here - especially if there was no-one else around."

Sara Taipe, 35, from St John's Wood, said: "When my sister and a friend were visiting from Peru they were followed down the canal by a man and they ran to the road to get away from him.

"I walk along here most afternoons and there are usually a lot of kids hanging around on there bikes under the bridge smoking. It can be intimidating."

She added that walking along the canal was a short-cut for her and had become a habit.

A police spokesman said: "All lines of enquiry are being pursued, including forensic evidence."

Anyone with information should contact Det Con Karl Lewis on 020-7321 9332 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now