West Hampstead attempted rape investigation: Police appeal to trace woman who was followed on the same night

The JW3 in Finchley Road, where the woman took refuge. Picture: Ezra Photography Ltd

The JW3 in Finchley Road, where the woman took refuge. Picture: Ezra Photography Ltd - Credit: �� Blake Ezra Photography

Police investigating an attempted rape in West Hampstead have appealed to trace a woman who was followed by a man on the same evening.

On Tuesday, August 16, a woman was threatened at knifepoint in Billy Fury Way by a man who tried to rape her at around 8pm.

Forty minutes after the attack, another woman, believed to be aged between 18 and 30, was followed from Finchley Road and Frognal train station.

She turned left heading north, followed by a man. She then turned left into Lymington Road, as did the suspect.

She became aware she was being followed and, fearful of what might happen, approached a security guard at the entrance of the JW3 Centre.

She sought refuge in the café inside the community centre for around 30 minutes before leaving.

The woman is described as white, 5ft 7ins and of medium build with long dark hair.

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Detective Constable Scott Barefoot, from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “If you recognise yourself from this description please come forward.

“It is really important because shortly before this incident another woman was the victim of an attempted rape and we need to establish whether these events are linked and if you have any information that could help our enquiries.”

A 22-year-old man was arrested on Thursday, 18 August and subsequently charged.

If you can help, please contact officers on 020 8733 5999 or to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.