Towpath sex attack on schoolgirl
PUBLISHED: 11:49 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:50 07 September 2010
Josie Hinton. THE St John s Wood and Maida Vale communities have been left shocked and frightened after another schoolgirl was sexually assaulted along the canal towpath. The 14-year-old was attacked as she walked to school beside the Regent s Canal in Li
THE St John's Wood and Maida Vale communities have been left shocked and frightened after another schoolgirl was sexually assaulted along the canal towpath.
The 14-year-old was attacked as she walked to school beside the Regent's Canal in Little Venice in broad daylight on Thursday last week.
Police believe the incident may be linked to a similar assault against a 15-year-old girl along the towpath last September.
In the latest attack, the 14-year-old girl was walking along the towpath near Delamere Terrace at 8.20am when she was approached by a man walking a dog.
He walked past her, but then turned back and asked her to hold his dog's lead while he forced her to engage in sexual activity with him.
Following the assault, the terrified young victim ran towards the Grand Union pub off Great Western Road.
In September, another teenager was walking under a canal bridge beside Prince Albert Road during her lunch break when she was forced to engage in a sexual act with a man. The attacker has not been caught.
The assaults and the recent spate of muggings and thefts have led to a growing sense of fear within the community with locals thinking twice before taking a stroll along the usually peaceful waterside.
"I'm shocked and appalled that something like this could happen more than once in broad daylight," said 25-year-old Kate Holmes, from Regent's Park.
"I have always enjoyed walking by the canal, and have always thought that as long as I leave before it gets dark I'll be safe.
"But you hear more and more about people being mugged so I'll definitely think twice now before going down there alone."
Last Thursday's attacker is described as a white 40-year-old man, 6ft 3ins tall of medium build with a large red birthmark on one side of his neck.
He wore a black woolly hat, black tracksuit bottoms, a three-quarter length black tracksuit jacket and dirty white Reebok trainers.
He spoke with a London accent and referred to his dog - which may have had white feet - as Monkey.
In last September's sexual assault , the attacker was described as white, around 50 years old, balding and overweight, and wore a grey or navy tracksuit.
Police have said the two incidents may be linked and more forensic investigations are under way.
DC Karl Lewis, of Paddington Green police station, appealed for witnesses.
"There were a number of cyclists who will have passed the latest victim," he said. Call CID on 020-7321 9631 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.