Officers investigating a spate of sexual attacks on women in Camden apprehended the perpetrator while carrying out proactive patrols in the area.
Their attention was drawn to 27-year-old Abid Khanzada when they spotted that he was wearing similar clothing to that of the suspect described to them by victims and seen on CCTV.
Khanzada has since been convicted and sentenced for the offences which took place in the Euston area between 15 January and 21 February.
Detectives had worked day and night to catch the man responsible for the attacks on lone females who were, in the majority of cases, approached by the suspect late at night on quiet streets. On one occasion he pushed the victim to the floor before sexually assaulting her. And on another he pinned the victim to her front door and sexually assaulted her, only stopping when he was challenged by a member of public, and he ran off.
A total of five woman – mostly aged in their early 20s – were sexually assaulted by Khanzada.
Officers from the Central North Public Protection team trawled hours of CCTV footage from the locations, took numerous statements and made various attempts to identify the suspect through forensic work.
In the early hours of 25 February, officers from the Public Protection Predatory Offender Unit were on patrol in the area of the attacks. They spotted a man who was wearing the same clothes that a number of the victims had described the suspect as wearing when they were attacked – black trousers, blue jacket, and distinctive white trainers. He also matched the physical description provided to police. Officers swooped in to arrest the man, taking him into custody where he gave a “no comment” interview.
Key CCTV footage already secured by officers provided the CPS with enough evidence to charge Khanzada with three offences. Whilst he was remanded in custody efforts to link him to further offences continued, and he was later charged in connection with an additional two incidents.
As a result of officers’ diligent efforts, Khanzada was ultimately charged with four offences of sexual assault and one of digital penetration.
DCI Steve Tod, who led the investigation, said: “We were absolutely determined to find the man responsible for such serious offences and bring him to justice.
“Khanzada posed a significant threat to women. He subjected these victims to a terrifying ordeal and I would like to praise each and every one of them for their bravery in coming forward. Reliving their experiences will have been extremely traumatic, but their actions have ensured that he won’t be able to assault further women.
“No one should live in fear of being the victim of such horrendous offences while simply going about their daily lives, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure women feel safe on the streets of London.”
+ Khanzada (09.10.95), of Stanhope Street, Camden pleaded guilty on 5 June at Wood Green Crown Court to four counts of sexual assault. On 19 July at the same court he pleaded guilty to sexual assault by penetration ahead of trial. On 13 September he was jailed for three years.