August 20 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

A 61-year-old woman was bludgeoned with an iron bar on her doorstep by a man wearing a balaclava in the second daylight attack this month at homes near Hampstead Heath.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Madeleine Neumann was clubbed over the head by a masked man when she opened her door in Gainsborough Gardens on Tuesday last week.

She screamed for help and her attacker fled but she was left with a 4cm gash to her forehead.

Mrs Neumann, who has lived on the borders of the Heath since 1985, said she had a strange feeling of unease as soon as she put her hand on the latch and has called on her neighbours to remain vigilant.

“Somehow I had a bad feeling,” she said. “All I saw was a balaclava and quite a thick metal bar which looked like scaffolding.

“He immediately hit me, without even saying anything. I think he thought I would become unconscious, but I didn’t.

“All I could think of was to shout as loud as I could. I didn’t shout ‘help’ I just screamed as loud as I could.

“The fright comes afterwards, when it’s happening you just fight for your life.”

Police are treating the incident as attempted aggravated burglary.

One neighbour said police were looking to talk to a man who was believed to be “sleeping rough on the Heath” in connection with the attack, but police would not confirm this.

Earlier this month a 63-year-old woman, who lives in the Vale of Health, was struck across the head with a rock when she answered her door to what is thought was a man masquerading as a door-to-door salesman.

Det Con Amanda Haldenby said police are keeping an open mind in both cases but at present there is no evidence to link the two attacks.

Peter Burian, who has lived in the Vale of Health for many years and is on Hampstead police neighbourhood forum, said he could not remember such a rash of attacks.

He said: “There is still a flasher on the loose too, but this is rare – it’s exceptionally rare.

“I have lived here for a million years and the last serious incident we had was 20 years ago when there was a rape up near Kenwood.”

Mrs Neumann said: “I would like people to be aware and not stupid like me and become complacent and make sure they look through a spy hole.

“But as far as I am concerned Hampstead is a fantastic place to live and I really don’t want to alarm people.”

Det Con Haldenby added: “I urge anyone who may have any information at all to contact us.”

* Call Camden Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency dial 999.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Other Crime & Court Articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE