Urgent hunt for 'knifeman' attacking lone women in parks

A knifeman who is preying on women walking alone in parks is being urgently hunted by police. 

The suspect pounced on two women on separate occasions in Hillingdon over the weekend, sexually assaulting one and trying to pull the other into a ditch.

He first struck at 2.45pm on Saturday when he grabbed a woman in her 20s and dragged her into a secluded area in The Gravel Pits, Northwood.

He sexually assaulted her, saying he was carrying a knife to stop her from shouting out. 

A passer-by approached and the woman managed to call out for help. The attacker ran off in the direction of Copse Wood Way.

Police believe the same man put his hand over the mouth of a woman in her 50s as she walked alone in Duck Pond Park, Ruislip at 8.15am on Sunday morning. 

The victim said he told her he would stab her if she started to shout. He managed to pull her to the floor and attempted to drag her off the footpath into a ditch. The woman screamed and the man ran off in the direction of Pinn Way.

The women are being supported by specially trained officers. Police said a knife was not seen in either incident.

Detectives believe the two cases are linked and are appealing for anyone who believes they may have seen anything out of the ordinary to come forward.

The suspect is described as a light-skinned black or Asian man, aged between 20-30 years old, around 5ft 8inches tall, of slim build, with a bald or closely shaven head. He was wearing a dark coloured tracksuit at the time of both incidents.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Pandya said: ‘These two attacks took place in broad daylight and we believe the same suspect is responsible for both incidents.

‘We want to reassure the community that our officers are carrying out extensive enquiries to try and identify this man and we are asking for the public’s help to find him.’

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