Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
A sexual assault in Piccadilly Park reported by a female jogger last week never happened, London police said yesterday. The woman, who police say is in her 20s and was visiting from Florida at the time, reported she was jogging in the downtown park at 3:15 a.m. last Thursday when she was grabbed from behind. She told police her attacker had a weapon. She was taken to hospital, treated and released.
Several neighbours said they had their windows open through the night and never heard a sound. That did not raise red flags for police, said Det.-Supt. Rick Gillespie, but there were other “indicators” the incident might have been invented. He said police spoke to the woman Tuesday night, and she admitted to making a false report.
“There were some underlying personal factors that led her to making this report,” Gillespie said. She is not being charged with making a false report.
“We do from time to time get false allegations, there’s no getting away from that. But, by and large, the vast majority of complaints of sexual and physical abuse are founded,” Gillespie said. The Florida woman had been in London for several weeks for a visit. After she reported the false attack, at least seven police vehicles swarmed Kenneth Avenue, a small street bordering the park. They spent hours scouring the area. At one point, they appealed to the public to help identify the attacker.