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Royal Free nurse targeted during spate of attacks on women

Police are searching for a man after linking a series of "aggressive" incidents against women

23 January, 2021 — By Bronwen Weatherby

The man threatened a Royal Free Hospital nurse

AN NHS nurse is among a number of women who have been targeted in what police are calling a series of “aggressive incidents”.

Detectives have linked eight incidents in which women were attacked in the last two months in Hampstead and Belsize Park and are appealing to the public to help find the suspect.

The man, described as white, aged in his 40s or 50s, of stocky build and medium height, is said to have subjected each of the women to verbal abuse and, in some cases, physical abuse.

And at times has had with him a metal tool of some kind, possibly a spanner or wrench, which he used threateningly.

On November 28, the man walked into the accident and emergency department at the Royal Free Hospital and made inappropriate comments to a female nurse before swinging a spanner in her direction. She was not injured and the man ran off.

Two days later at around 7.30pm a man made inappropriate comments to a woman waiting at a bus stop outside Chalk Farm Station, then he punched her.

A week later just before 9.30p on December 8 a woman was walking down Fleet Road when the man approached her, made inappropriate comments and threatened her with a metal tool before running off again.

Another woman was then approached on January 2 at around 6.30pm in Lissenden Gardens and subjected to abusive language and punched.

The four most recent assaults all took place on Wednesday, January 13, beginning at 5.30pm when a man with a wrench ran towards a woman on Lawn Road.

Around 20 minutes later, a man reported seeing a woman being followed by a man and when he intervened was himself threatened with a wrench.

Later that evening at around 7.40pm on Queen’s Crescent a woman was approached by a man who made inappropriate comments to her before he got out a spanner and held it threateningly. Members of the public intervened and the man ran off.

Then, at 9.45pm, two women were walking on Fleet Road, when they were approached by a man who shouted at them and threw an item, believed to be a wrench, at one of the women. They sought help from a nearby shop and the man ran away.

Detectives are advising people to stay vigilant and want anyone who knows the man, was in the vicinity of the incidents or saw something suspicious to contact police immediately.

Zoe Di Carlo, a detective constable from the Central North Command Unit, said: “We are investigating a series of incidents where women, often on their own, have been approached and subjected to verbal, and sometimes, physical abuse.

“While no one has been seriously hurt, these incidents will understandably cause concern to the local community. I want to reassure people that we are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend the person responsible.”

Anyone who can assist is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote reference CAD 1416/28Nov20.

Alternatively, to remain anonymous please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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