A 15-year-old boy from Thornton Heath has been convicted of eight separate charges involving violent or sexual attacks against girls who were walking to school.
The attacks took place over a period of more than a year, from November 2019 until November 6 last year.
The boy has not been named. He has been remanded in custody for sentencing on June 7.
Appearing in Croydon Crown Court yesterday, the teenager pleaded guilty to two counts of grievous bodily harm. He also pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault, one count of assault by penetration and one charge of common assault.
Another charge, of robbery, was left to lie on file.
According to the Metropolitan Police, “At 08:50hrs on Wednesday, 4 November 2020 police were called to reports of an injured girl in Moffat Road, Croydon. A 15-year-old girl had been approached by a stranger and stabbed in the leg. The victim was taken to hospital where her condition was confirmed as not life-threatening.
“Two days later, at 08:23hrs on Friday, 6 November, police were called to St Paul’s Road, Croydon to reports of an injured girl. Officers and London Ambulance Service attended. A 15-year-old girl had been approached by a stranger and stabbed in the arm. She was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital where her condition was deemed not life-threatening.”
It was these two attacks, less than half a mile apart in Thornton Heath, which resulted in the charges of GBH. According to the police, “The victims went to separate schools and it is not thought they were known to each other.”
The attacks were linked to four other incidents from November 2019 to October 2020, where teenage girls were approached as they were walking to school and sexually assaulted or attacked. The police made their arrest at the boy’s home on November 8.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Barrett, who led the investigation, said: “These incidents caused considerable concern to the local community – all the victims were teenage girls, and apparently chosen at random. They were making their way to school when they were subjected to needless and completely unprovoked attacks.
“I am grateful to all of them for their assistance to our investigation.”
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This shames us all…