A teenage boy has been found guilty of physically assaulting and stealing from a no of women as they walked through a popular south London park.
The 17-year-old targeted six women who were jogging or walking their dogs through South Norwood Country Park in Croydon. He used to grabbing them from behind in isolated areas and then executed his level of thievery.
The attacks, between May 3 and June 21, prompted a protest by about 80 people demanding increased safety measures in the park.
Wimbledon youth court heard the boy said to one victim “I love you” and “you are beautiful” as he groped her on June 20, before snatching her phone and debit card and fleeing.
The woman said she heard gnawing on the gravel path as the attacker came up behind her. She added: “All I remember is his hands coming over me and over my eyes. I felt these clammy hands and I could hear him breathing. He just kept saying how beautiful I was and ‘I love you’.”
The teenager was caught on CCTV using the stolen card to buy a soft drink just minutes after the attack but claimed at his trial that he had found the card on a nearby tram line and was merely checking if it worked.
The teenager, who cannot be named, will return to court on October 31 to be sentenced. He has been given an interim sexual harm prevention order.