Single mum living in fear of Peeping Tom

American now sleeps with hockey stick after discovering intruder

Tan Parsons

A SINGLE mum from Hampstead has been left terrified after she discovered a Peeping Tom leering through her bedroom window.

The American woman, who has asked not to be named, was at her home in Willow Road when she pulled back her blinds to reveal the peering pervert.

In the night-time ordeal last Thursday, she saw the man standing just inches from her face with his hands down his trousers.

She said: "It was dark so I put my face right up against the glass and there right in front of the window was this man - I was level with his waist.

"I screamed my head off as loud and fierce as I could but he just stood there. It was like he was either buttoning his trousers up or pulling them down. I ran over to the phone and called 999 and then I grabbed my son."

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The woman, who is a writer, was alerted to the stranger by her dog Perla - a huge black Bouvier de Flandres - who started sniffing at the window and looking back and forth at her owner.

The intruder was caught in the act around 1am, having apparently climbed over the fence at the edge of the property and padded down the slope of the garden, planting himself in the narrow gap outside the basement bedroom window.

"The creepy thing is that he had to actually climb down very deliberately into the space," said the single mother.

"And I didn't hear a thing. There was just a thin piece of glass between us and for all I knew he could have come crashing through the window.

"He knows where I live and I don't know if he's going to come back. I don't know if he's committed acts of violence against people - which has happened on the Heath. I don't know anything about him. You expect to be safe at home and you never think something like this will happen to you."

After calling the police, the woman was told a car was on its way. She stayed awake until 4.30am, but it never arrived.

She said: "I just feel like the police didn't care or take me seriously. I didn't get any sleep - I was absolutely hyper. My stomach is still in knots because of all the adrenaline."

Her 13-year-old son, who is a pupil at University College School, has given his mother his hockey stick to keep with her during the night in case the intruder returns.

This is the second time she has been spied upon in the past year.

She said: "The same thing happened in June but that time I saw him from the back - I just caught his ass. It sounds funny but it's horrible - I mean what do you do when you open the blinds and see someone's ass?

"I didn't report it then because I thought it was a one-off, but now I wonder if I'm being targeted. Is it happening to other women in Hampstead?

"There are a lot of families here but most of the men are away during the day. It's really really scary.

"I just don't understand the motivation - but it's clear he's here because I'm a woman and he knows I'm on my own. Any other single mums or flatmates who are girls could be targeted by this guy.

"Some of my friends said he was probably a drunk looking for somewhere to pee or a burglar but if so, why didn't he run when I screamed?"

The woman did not get a look at his face but she saw he was a large man with a broad torso. He was wearing a smart, red pressed shirt with a collar, and a pair of fitted black jeans.

A police spokesman said officers were called after a report of someone urinating against a wall but the man had gone by the time they got there. He added: "We will retrieve the audio log of the call to establish the exact circumstances. We take all such allegations seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.