Man guilty of raping and trying to murder schoolgirl in West Hampstead cemetery

Miles Edward Hughes Picture: MPS

Miles Edward Hughes Picture: MPS - Credit: Archant

A teenager has been found guilty of attempted murder and rape after cutting a 15-year-old schoolgirl with a knife in a Hampstead cemetery before forcing her to have sex with him.

The Old Bailey heard how Miles Edward Hughes, 18, of Dynham Road in West Hampstead, met up with his victim – whom he knew – in Hampstead Cemetery on July 9 last year.

After sitting and talking with her, Hughes then pulled out a Stanley knife and cut his victim’s arms.

The court heard he carved his name – “Miles” – into her skin after first cutting himself.

A friend told the court Hughes said he enjoyed seeing his victim begging on her knees, while the jury also heard he was obeying voices in his head that told him to kill the girl.

After the cutting, he demanded sex but – when the victim refused – forced himself on her and raped her while trying to stab her in the neck.

A member of the public halted the ordeal by telling Hughes to stop, but he climbed over a fence and fled before being caught by police.

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The victim suffered minor wounds.

Det Con Gary Fernon of the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command said the girl is “still coming to terms with what happened” after the “terrifying ordeal”.

He added: “I am pleased that Hughes - who was just 17 at the time of the attack - now faces a long spell behind bars for this horrific crime.”

Hughes, who was found guilty yesterday, will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on February 24.

He admitted wounding with intent but denied attempted murder and rape.