Man guilty of violent south London park sexual assault
A violent man who made up a twin to use as a scapegoat for the sexual attack he had committed has been convicted.
Khaled Argoub, 20, stalked his victim before dragging her to a park where he choked and sexually assaulted her.
A distinctive cap left at the scene, his DNA found under the victim’s fingernail and CCTV tracking helped to identify Argoub.
Today (Friday, 21 February), after a trial at Kingston Crown Court, Argoub was found guilty of two counts of attempted rape, three counts of sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration and attempting to choke with intent.
The victim was walking along a quiet residential street in Colliers Wood at around 3.30am on 11 August 2019 and stopped to take a picture of a fox in the road. Argoub was in the middle of the road behind her and smiled at her. He suddenly ran towards the victim, grabbed hold of her and dragged her to the nearby Wandle Park.
The victim managed to escape by distracting him and running to some nearby flats. She was let in and the police were called. The police arrived and took her to hospital due to her serious injuries.
Argoub was not located that morning, but his cap was found at the scene, along with the victim’s clothes and phone. Argoub was arrested at his home address and when asked later why he followed people, he said ‘because I’m an animal’.
A selfie taken before the attack was found on his phone upon arrest. It showed Argoub wearing the same cap that was left at the scene.
Nijole O’Brien, from the CPS, said: “This was a violent attack on a lone female after a night out.
“Argoub was wearing a distinctive cap that allowed police to trace him from the moment he spotted the victim on the tube. That cap was later found at the scene, and was the same cap being worn in a selfie Argoub had taken moments before the attack. After the assault he was seen getting back on the tube without his cap on and covering his face with his hand.
“During interview Argoub made various efforts to frustrate matters. On arrest he pretended not to speak English. He also initially said he couldn’t remember his name and claimed he had a twin but could not remember his twin’s name.
“During the attack, the victim was convinced she was about to die. She shouted that she couldn’t breathe but the defendant continued to choke her. Argoub even covered her mouth to stop her shouting for help.
“This victim has been left traumatised. That night Argoub carried out a monstrous assault which remains in the victim’s memory. This conviction will ensure that Argoub will be held accountable for his actions.”
Argoub will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on 31 March.
Notes to editors
- Khaled Argoub (DOB: 26.07.1999) is from Tooting in the London borough of Wandsworth.
- Nijole O’Brien is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit on CPS London South.