Woman jogger tells of savage attack on Hampstead Heath – as police launch appeal
16:11 24 July 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
A jogger has today spoken of her ordeal after she was savagely beaten in a random attack on Hampstead Heath.
The woman, 30, was running and listening to music when her attacker pounced – launching a brutal attack that she likened to being hit by a car or mauled by a wild animal.
The man knocked her to the ground and then repeatedly punched her as she lay face down on the earth, landing multiple blows to her head.
It happened in broad daylight on Monday morning at about 11.35am, on the Hampstead Heath Extension between Hampstead Way and Wildwood Road, near to her Hampstead Garden Suburb home.
The woman, a media worker who wished to remain anonymous, told the Ham&High: “I have no idea what was behind it.
“I was hit a lot of times to the head, it’s very painful – I’m taking painkillers and feeling sick, and I have quite a lot of bruising and swelling to my head and face.
“Either he jumped at me from behind or he could have come out of the bushes.
“The first thing I remember was lying face down on the ground and this guy was hitting me again and again on the head.
“Then suddenly it stopped – I don’t know why, I can’t remember if I said something or if we were interrupted.”
The man also ripped off her gold hoop earrings, somehow cutting her scalp, before disappearing.
The jewellery was found discarded nearby and the man did not take anything else.
The woman was taken to the Royal Free Hospital, where X-rays showed she escaped broken bones.
She speculated that her attacker could have been bothered by the “buzzing” of the headphones she was wearing, as he seemed to target her ears.
“I have been punched all round where my headphones were, my face is bruised but it was not hit,” she said.
“I’m fortunate in that I didn’t see him and can’t remember anything – it was more like being hit by car or attacked by animal.”
The woman spoke to the Ham&High as police launched an appeal for help in tracking down the culprit.
“It’s very worrying knowing that someone who did this is out there,” she added.
“As I came back from hospital, I saw women on their own running in the same area, on the same day.
“It would be awful if something happened to somebody else – a similar thing that could have been prevented if they had known about this.”
Richard Gentry, head of the Hampstead Heath Constabulary – the beauty spot’s dedicated police force – said there have been no similar incidents on the Heath in recent weeks.
The constabulary has upped patrols on the Heath Extension following the attack.
Police described the suspect as a white man of about 5ft 9in.
Det Con Mike Clinch, of Barnet police, said: “I need the public’s help to identify this violent man before he strikes again.”
Anyone with information should call Barnet CID on 101 quoting reference 2416176/14 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.