Man jailed for attempted rape of 14-year-old girl in New Addington

Leon Ward  (Police handout )
Leon Ward (Police handout )

A man from south London has been jailed for ten years for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl in woodland.

Leon Ward, 49, of New Addington, befriended the teenager in May 2020 and began texting her and asked her to send compromising pictures of herself.

She refused but he continued to pursue her and she agreed to meet him for a walk in May 2020, Croydon Crown Court heard.

On the walk in New Addington Ward assaulted and attempted to rape her.

He was arrested on May 18, 2020, and was charged on November 10, 2021, with attempted rape of a 14-year-old girl, three counts of sexual assault by penetration; two counts of sexual assault by touching and sexual communication with a child. All offences were committed against the same victim.

He will be on the sex offenders register for life.

Detective Constable Jamie Munro, the investigating officer, said: “Ward took advantage of a vulnerable young girl believing that she would not tell anyone.

“Thankfully he was wrong. I applaud the bravery of the victim in coming forward. Her actions may have saved other potential victims from suffering the same offences.

“Identifying and apprehending those who commit violent offences against women and girls is a priority for us, and I urge anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to speak to police, at the very least to ensure you are supported.”