Alleyway Attacker Jailed

A 20 year old man who sexually assaulted two women he attacked in alleyways in Hendon has been jailed for 11 years.

Archie Thomas, of Sunny Gardens Road, has been told he must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.

He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted rape, one count of sexual assault, one count of assault; two counts of possession of a knife blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and one count of robbery.

He was arrested following an investigation by detectives from the Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

At 7pm on Friday February 13, he attacked a 26-year-old woman in an alleyway between Sunny Gardens Road and Downage, NW4. During the attack, he pulled her to the ground and punched her in the face before sexually assaulting her. He stole her purse before running away.

Just over a week later, he struck again.

At 7.40pm on Sunday February 22, he attacked a 29-year-old woman in an alleyway that runs between Queens Road and Heriot Road, NW4.

He pushed her against a fence before threatening her with a knife and sexually assaulted her. During the struggle, the woman managed to grab the knife. Thomas was disturbed by a local resident and fled from the scene, but not before punching his victim in the face.

Thomas was identified through a fingerprint on a knife that he had used and a search of his home led to the  discovery of items he had stolen in the first assault. He was arrested and charged on Tuesday February 24.

Acting Detective Inspector Steve Grainger, of the Met's Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: "Thomas is clearly a violent offender; he attacked these two women and showed an abhorrent level of violence. Today's sentencing reflects the nature of his crimes.

"I would like to pay tribute to the bravery shown by these women and thank them - and the witnesses - for all the help they gave to the investigating team. Their courage in coming forward gave Thomas no option but to  plead guilty.

"My officers, and colleagues across the Met, remain determined to tackle sexual offences across London. I would urge anyone who has been a victim of this type of crime to come forward so that we can help to bring  the perpetrator before the courts and provide support through our partners."

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