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Monday, 4 December 2017
Police appeal after serial suspected child sex attacker targets 25th victim
Officers release footage of a suspect who may have targeted girls as young as eight after the latest attack on a 15-year-old girl.
By Martin Brunt, Crime Correspondent
A serial sex attacker who targets young females during rush hour is thought to have assaulted his 25th victim.
Detectives believe a white man, in his 40s with blue eyes, has carried out all the attacks over the past year.
The majority of his victims are girls, with the youngest aged eight, and the rest are young women.
All were attacked during the morning or afternoon rush hours in south London.
Police have released CCTV footage of the suspect, which shows him running and walking near the scene of the latest attack on a 15-year-old girl in Sandbourne Road, Brockley, just after 8.30 am on 22 November.
In the video he appears to be slim with greyish hair and is wearing a dark coat and blue trousers or jeans.
Last month Sky News showed images of the man before and after an attack on a 25-year-old woman in Liskaerd Gardens, Kidbrooke.
At the time it was revealed he was suspected to have attacked three 11-year-olds in the south London areas of Grove Park, Lee and Forest Hill.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Furphy of the Metropolitan Police said: "These offences have been traumatic for the victims, all of whom have been young females going about their daily lives.
"There is a strong possibility that these incidents are part of a linked series of attacks as a number of victims have provided very similar descriptions of the attacker - a white man aged between 40 and 50.
"Our officers have been working tirelessly to apprehend the suspect, but we need the public's help.
"CCTV shows footage of a male that we would like to speak to who we believe may be able to assist our investigation. If this is you or if you know who this person is, please contact us."
Police believe there may be more victims who have not reported attacks and are urging them to do so.
The first attack is thought to have been on a 13-year-old girl in Orpington in October last year.
Most of the assaults have happened in the boroughs of Lewisham and Greenwich, but there have been others in Southwark, Bromley and Bexley.
Police said they had increased patrols in those areas and were advising schools and community groups.
Anyone with information is asked to call police or ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
:: The full list of alleged attacks that are thought to have been carried out by the same man took place:
At 9.15am on Thursday 6 October 2016 in Foxfield Road, Orpington BR8 [victim aged 13] - Bromley borough
At 4.30pm on Friday 28 April 2017 in Heathfield Lane, Chislehurst BR7 [victim aged 13] - Bromley
At around 7.50am-8.20am on Thursday 8 June in St Thomas Drive Orpington BR5 [victim aged 15] - Bromley
At 2.55pm on Wednesday 21 June in Springfield Grove SE7 [victim aged 18] - Greenwich
At 4.30pm on Wednesday 21 June in Heavitree Road SE18 [victim aged 16] - Greenwich
At 5pm on Wednesday 21 June in Lovel Avenue DA16 [victim aged 13] - Bexley
At 5.30pm on Wednesday 21 June in Plumstead Adventure Play Ground SE18 [victim aged 19] - Greenwich
At 8.20am on Friday, 30 June in Ravens Way, SE12 [victim aged 13] - Lewisham
At 5.20pm on Thursday 27 July in Falmouth Road SE1 [victim aged 19] - Southwark
At 8.50am on Monday 14 August in Kitto Road, Se14, [victim aged 27] - Lewisham
At 12.14pm on Friday 25 August in Green Chain walk, near Portland Rd, BR1 [victim aged 35] - Bromley
At around 1.14pm on Tuesday 29 August in Edward Tyler Road, SE12 [victim aged 11] - Lewisham
At 4.30pm on Thursday 7 September in Thicket Road SE20 [victim aged 28] - Bromley
At 5.20pm on Monday 18 September in Half Moon Lane SE24 [victim aged 11] - Southwark
At 8.20am on Wednesday, 27 September in Vicars Hill, SE13 [victim aged 13] - Lewisham
At 4.30pm on Thursday, 28 September in Frank Burton Close, SE7 [victim aged 13] - Greenwich
At around 8.15am on Thursday, 28 September in Alanthus Close, SE12 [victim aged 11] - Lewisham
At 9.20am on Thursday, 5 October in Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 [victim aged 13] - Greenwich
At 9.30am on Thursday, 5 October in Kidbrooke Park Road SE3 [victim aged 27] - Greenwich
At around 9.54am on Thursday 5 October in Liskeard Gardens, SE3 [victim aged 25] - Lewisham
At 4am on Monday, 16 October in Honor Oak Road, SE23 [victim aged 11] - Lewisham
At 4.45pm on Thursday 19 October in Winn Common, SE18 [victim aged 14] - Greenwich
At Around 8.20am-8.50am on Monday 13 November in Vulcan Terrace SE4 [victim aged 8] - Lewisham
Poppi Worthington: Father calls 13-month-old a 'bully' as he gives evidence
Paul Worthington continues to refer to an earlier statement as he denies sexually assaulting the toddler before her death in 2012.
The father of a toddler who died after sustaining serious injuries called the little girl a "bully" as he cried at her inquest.
Paul Worthington gave evidence at the second inquest into the death of Poppi Worthington, who was found with serious injuries in her home in Barrow-in-Furness and died in hospital on 12 December, 2012.
An inquest was held in 2014, during which a coroner decided he was satisfied to rely on the findings of a private family court judgment and declared Poppi's death as unexplained.
However, a family court judge later ruled the child had probably been sexually assaulted by her father before her death.
Mr Worthington returned to court on Thursday to give evidence, but answered many questions by referring to his statement of 2014.
Poppi's DNA was found on a swab of Mr Worthington's penis. When questioned, he referred to previous statements, which had offered the explanation that he had put his fingers in Poppi's mouth to clear her airway and had later urinated.
He also referred to his daughter, who was 13-months-old when she died, as a "bully".
When asked to describe Poppi, the 49-year-old said: "Lively. Bubbly. The happy one out of the siblings. Bully in her own little way."
During Thursday's hearing, he refused to answer all but one of the questions put to him - and simply referred to his previous statements under Rule 22 a total of 183 times.
The inquest was told the post-mortem examination of the toddler showed penetration of the anus.
When Mr Worthington was asked if he at any point penetrated her, he replied: "I refer to my previous statements under Rule 22."
He told the court he didn't know how her bottle or pillow got onto the double bed where he usually slept.
After completing the questioning, coroner David Roberts said: "Now you are perfectly entitled to rely on your legal right not to answer anything that might incriminate you, there's no inference drawn from that.
"That said, today is an opportunity for you to tell me anything you think may help me understand how Poppi came by her death.
"So I don't want you to leave court thinking you have not had the opportunity to tell me what happened as best you can remember about the facts of those hours.
"It's an opportunity. Is there anything else you would like to tell me?"
The inquest also heard from two police officers who attended Poppi's home, including one who found "kitchen roll" when asked to look for nappies.
Former Detective Constable Lindsey Bolton, who is no longer a serving police officer, said the laptop used by Mr Worthington to watch pornography the night that Poppi died was never recovered by officers.
He sold the device after her death.
Detective Sergeant John Carton told the inquest when he went to see Poppi there had been no visible bruising, but there was blood around the backside and in her nappy.
He said there has been no effort to remove the sheet she had been lying on, or the laptop, because it wasn't a criminal investigation at the time.
Bellfield: 'Stone offered me money to confess to Chillenden murders'
The serial killer denies an apparent confession to the murders of Lin Russell and her daughter Megan released by Stone's lawyer.
Levi Bellfield claims he was offered payment by Michael Stone to confess to the Chillenden murders.
Bellfield, who is serving two whole life sentences for the murders of two women and schoolgirl Milly Dowler, denied making a confession to the 1996 killings of Lin Russell, 45, her daughter Megan, six, and the attempted murder of her other daughter Josie, then nine.
On Wednesday, lawyers acting for Stone, who is serving two whole life sentences for the hammer killings, said they had new evidence Bellfield had confessed to the Chillenden murders.
But on Thursday, Bellfield's lawyers said Stone had offered him payment to confess, and that the serial killer has had to complain to prison authorities about contact.
In a statement, his lawyer Julie Cooper said: "Mr Bellfield denies the murders of the Russell family and denies ever making such a confession.
"Mr Stone has offered payment to our client, which he anticipates receiving as compensation for time served in custody.
"Our client has three notes from Mr Stone in this regard which has been given to the prison service, together with a number of complaints regarding Mr Stone about his persistent attempts to get our client to accept responsibility for his (Mr Stone's) crimes.
"Mr Bellfield instructs that he has invited Mr Stone to undertake a polygraph test, which has been declined.
"For the record, Mr Bellfield is willing to undertake such a test in respect of the murders for which he is serving a life sentence and the murders of the Russell family."
The statement also denied specific parts of the alleged confession, and said previously unpublicised details had been reported in the media.
Bellfield and Stone are both in HMP Frankland, though are understood to be on different wings.
Nick Downing, assistant chief constable for the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "We feel it is no longer contemporaneous and is unfair on the victims to continue to raise questions or re-release details about the murder investigation and subsequent conviction of Michael Stone."
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which dismissed an appeal in 2010, confirmed it had received an application from Stone's lawyers in August and is investigating.
A jury at Maidstone Crown Court found Stone guilty of murder and attempted murder in October 1998.
The convictions were quashed by Court of Appeal judges in 2001 after doubts over key witness Damien Daley, who said Stone confessed to the Russell murders through a heating pipe at Canterbury Prison.