Kadian Nelson, 26, from Mitcham, pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court in April to kidnap, rape, and making a threat to kill.
He was sentenced at the same court today, Friday, 13 September, to a total of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Part of Nelson’s sentence related to a separate domestic-related assault which took place on 11 October and for which he was previously convicted.
Police were called shortly after 7am on Tuesday, 3 November 2020 after a member of the public saw Nelson grab the 13-year-old girl in North Place, Mitcham.
He had crept up on her from behind as she walked to school before forcing her into an alleyway in a housing estate, where he then attacked her.
The ordeal was interrupted by a member of the public, who went to check what had happened. Nelson claimed the victim was his sister and tried to walk away with her, but the woman continued to follow and filmed Nelson and the victim on her mobile phone.
Nelson then fled the scene, leaving the victim cloaked in his jacket, which he had draped over her.
Police attended and an area search was conducted, but he was not found. An investigation was started immediately, led by the South West Public Protection Unit.
In the meantime, a video of Nelson approaching and abducting the victim began to circulate on social media, provoking a fierce reaction from the public. A number of groups of people began to search for Nelson at his, and some of his relatives home addresses, and there were serious police concerns that he would be physically harmed.
A proactive appeal was issued featuring an image of Nelson, followed by a further appeal in which he was named and urged to hand himself in. A Section 60 Order was authorised as officers appealed for calm and for the public to refrain from trying to take the law into their own hands.
Nelson was arrested at 8.02pm the same day after a member of the public saw him in Robinson Road SW17 – just over a mile from where the initial attack took place.
Enquires showed that after the incident, Nelson travelled to a hotel in Baker Street, where he had booked a room. He then visited various shops around London before going back to the hotel to drop items off and then returning to Merton, where he was arrested.
It is unknown as to whether he knew that police were searching for him.
He remained silent during questioning. He was charged and remanded in custody.
Overwhelming evidence compiled by the South West investigatory team, including forensics, witnesses and CCTV, left Nelson with no choice but to plead guilty.
The family of the victim said: “We would like to thank the members of the public whose actions of outstanding courage and bravery saved our daughter.”
Detective Inspector Simon Sherlock said: “What Nelson did that day was utterly sickening. The young victim was going about her day as usual on her way to school when Nelson approached and subjected her to a terrifying ordeal. His actions were calculated, evil and depraved.
“Thankfully the incident was spotted by a member of the public who called 999, and Nelson was then confronted by another woman who was steadfast and resolute as she followed him. She knew something was wrong and trusted her instinct, going out of her way in going to the victim’s aid. I would like to acknowledge the incredible support she gave to the victim, and to our investigation.
“Most importantly, I would like to give my profoundest thanks and praise to the victim who has been incredibly courageous and brave throughout the course of our investigation. We will ensure she and her family continue to receive the support they need following this harrowing incident.”
Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave, from the Met Police, added: “I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the member of the public who intervened and provided support to the victim and our officers during their investigation into this appalling attack.
“Rape and other serious sexual offences are devastating crimes that can have a lasting impact on victims, their families and communities. I would urge anyone who has been a victim to please report it. We will do all we can to investigate so that perpetrators are brought to justice and the victims receive the appropriate support.
“We have specially trained officers who work closely with highly skilled, specialist and emphatic partners to ensure that anyone who has experienced rape, or sexual assault, can have the access they need.”