A man has been sentenced to a total of thirteen years after he chased a woman through the streets of Southwark and sexually assaulted her.
William Gordon, 34 (11.08.85) of Churchyard Row, SE1, Southwark, was sentenced via video link at the Old Bailey today [Monday 30 March] for four counts of assault by penetration; one count of sexual assault and two counts of common assault by beating.
Gordon had previously been convicted of all the charges following a six-day trial at the same court on Monday, 10 February.
The court heard that at approximately 00:20hrs on Tuesday, 6 August 2019, Gordon followed the victim as she walked in Southwark along Larcom Street in the direction of Charleston Street, and sexually assaulted her for the first time.
The victim managed to get away, but Gordon chased her to Cotham Street where further sexual assaults took place in a residential area.
The court heard how throughout the attack the victim cried out and continued to try and escape from Gordon.
Her cries alerted people in nearby houses as to what was taking place and Gordon fled the scene when people came out to assist.
Detectives from the Met’s Central South Command Unit immediately launched an investigation.
Chillingly, enquiries revealed CCTV of the suspect following three other lone women on the same evening before this attack.
Due to their concern, detectives quickly decided to ask the public and media for help and released an appeal with CCTV and a still photo of the suspect.
As a result of this, officers also found that Gordon had followed a fourth woman a week prior to carrying out this attack. A number of calls were also received naming Gordon as the suspect.
While the media appeal was being circulated, one local newspaper reported to police that they had received phone calls from a man stating that he was the male in the images, but had been eliminated from enquiries and so his photo should be removed. The phone that made these calls was later linked directly to Gordon.
He was arrested on Tuesday, 20 August 2019, but denied any involvement in the attack.
Detective Inspector Sharon Steel, of the Safeguarding team from the Met's Central South Command Unit, said: “William Gordon is a manipulative sexual predator who poses a serious danger to women. That night he was clearly targeting lone females before pursuing his victim through the streets and carrying out a sustained attack.
“Gordon then failed to acknowledge any wrongdoing and forced the victim and witnesses to relive the traumatic events of that night throughout the trial, during which he also disputed his previous convictions for sexual assault. However the jury saw through his lies and this dangerous offender has now been held to account.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the media and public for all their help in identifying Gordon - it was due to their response to our appeal that he was so quickly arrested. I would like to pay particular tribute to the bravery shown by the victim in this case, her courage has helped make sure that Gordon has been brought to account and I hope that the sentence given today provides a sense of justice.”