Woman sexually attacked on Black Path in West Hampstead in broad daylight
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Women have been warned to be vigilant when using the Black Path in West Hampstead after a lone female was sexually attacked in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.
The victim, in her early 30s, managed to fight off her attacker after he grabbed her and assaulted her as she walked down the alleyway.
A friend of the victim, who immediately reported the attack to the police, approached the Ham&High to warn others that the attacker is at large.
He said his friend, was walking down the alleyway which connects West End Lane to Broomsleigh Street and serves as a shortcut to the Thameslink station, at around 4.10pm on Saturday when the man approached her.
He grabbed her and attempted to sexually assault her as she fought him off.
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The woman, described as “physically quite strong” by her friend, ran up to the top of the Black Path and into a shop.
She immediately called police, but they were unable to find the suspect when they arrived at the scene a few minutes later.
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The friend said: “We felt it was our responsibility to let people know because it could have been much worse - had it been someone who is a bit weaker than her.
“She was scratched on her neck, he tried to kiss her on the neck and grab her on the groin ... He might feel like he has got away with it, but we are hoping he will see this in the press and realise that something is happening and the police are looking for him.”
The friend said the assailant disappeared in the direction of Broomsleigh Street.
He said: “On the path itself, there are no cameras and people use it all the time as a shortcut to the station. There are no lights either but this was at 4 o’clock in the afternoon so that doesn’t really matter.
“He was looking at his phone when she walked past him and he grabbed her. He didn’t speak at all. It was deserted, which was unusual - there are normally people around.”
He said his friend is “quite tough” but has been left “shaken” by the attack, and hopes that publicising it will help catch the perpetrator.
Police confirmed they are investigating the reported attack and that no arrests have so far been made.
The suspect is described as a slim man around 5’10’’ tall, aged in his 20s and of Mediterranean appearance.