Award for passers-by who intervened in sex attack on terrified woman
- Credit: Archant
Two good samaritans who disturbed a sex attacker, above, as he lay on top of his terrified victim have been commended for an award by a judge.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard how the attacker was chased through the streets before being caught in Camden Road and detained by passers-by until police arrived.
In a unique trial which ended on Friday the attacker, who appeared under a false name and whose real identity is unknown, was jailed for six years after being found guilty of attempted rape.
On his arrest the man, believed to be a French national, gave police the fake name Aurilien Cheyroux, but despite fingerprint checks, police have not traced who he really is.
In a further twist, the terrified victim, who said she was attacked after being separated from friends, left the scene before police arrived and has never come forward despite appeals.
The court heard how two passers-by Richard Ngalam and Gemma Roger were walking down Caledonian Road at around 2am on March 1 when they heard a woman screaming for help.
When her cries became muffled, they realised her mouth was being covered, the jury were told.
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They searched around and came across a woman lying on the ground with a man on top of her with his trousers down by his ankles outside communal garages at Caledonian Road.
The attacker who was trying to rip off his victim’s clothes, jumped up, pulled up his trousers and ran away.
While Ms Roger stayed and comforted the victim and called police, Mr Ngalam chased the attacker and was joined by two other men.
The group eventually caught up with the defendant in Camden Road where they jumped on him and detained him until police arrived and arrested him.
Imprisoning the attacker and ordering he should be deported after sentence, Judge John Hillen praised the witnesses.
He recommended each of them for a High Sherrif Award, for citizens who have given outstanding service in helping the police carry out their duties.
The awards are directed by the courts under section 28 of the Criminal Law Act 1826.
After the case, Det Con Kip Malek, of the sexual offences squad said: “This is a highly unusual case where we have been unable to trace the victim and the man who has been convicted is under an assumed name.
“Despite this we have been able to get a conviction and that is due to the brave members of the public who witnessed the attack and took it upon themselves to pursue this man and contact us.
“This incident should demonstrate to people that we take all offences of sexual assault very seriously and when they do occur, we do everything we can to bring the offenders to justice.”
The Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Neil Smithson said: “A dangerous individual has been convicted. I am still keen to ascertain his identity
“Equally, if you were the victim of this offence please contact us - we have specially trained officers who can support you.
“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual violence to come forward, safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to, the case will be thoroughly investigated and we will provide bespoke victim care depending on the individual’s needs.”
Anyone with information should contact detectives on 020 8733 6572 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.