A man has been convicted of attempting to rape a woman as she walked through Rush Common in Brixton.
She may have been saved by a man who came across the attack but who has not been identified.
Gary Kerby, 46, of Sandmere Road, was convicted today (15 December) after a four-day-trial at Inner London Crown Court.
He was found guilty of one count of attempted rape of a female aged over 16 years; sexual assault; robbery; and causing a female of 13 or over to engage in a non-penetrative sexual activity.
He will be sentenced at the same court on Friday, 18 January.
The Metropolitan police said the court heard that at around 10.30pm on Tuesday 11 July the victim, a woman in her mid-20s, was walking through Rush Common off Dray Gardens.
When she was halfway across the common she noticed the shadow of the approaching Kerby.
Kerby asked her if she had any money and she told him that she did not carry cash. He then grabbed hold of one of her arms and pulled her onto a bench and told her that she had to perform a sexual act on him.
Kerby was saying to her: “If you don’t do what I tell you I will stab you”.
She tried to call out and he put his hands around her neck and pushed his thumbs into her neck. He then attempted to rape her.
When a man approached along the path where the attack was taking place, Kerby stopped what he was doing and threatened to stab him.
The witness stayed where he was and did not move from the scene.
At this point Kerby told the victim he would let her go if she gave him her bank card.
The victim gave him her bank and Oyster cards and fled.
The victim reported the attack to police, and the Metropolitan police Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command(CASO) launched an investigation.
Kerby, a known sexual offender, was identified as a suspect and arrested at Sandmere Road, on 13 July.
A search of the address recovered the victim’s bank card.
The man who came across the attack in the park has never been traced.
Detective Inspector Simon Dowling of CASO said: “Kerby is a violent, dangerous, sexual predator and probably the only reason he did not carry out other offences was the appearance of a member of the public, who disturbed the attack. Thankfully the victim was able to get away and tell police about her ordeal.
“Kerby was quickly identified as a suspect and soon arrested. He now faces a long custodial sentence and I am sure London will be a safer place for it.”