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Woman catches attacker on Facebook

A sex attacker is behind bars after a young mother turned detective and tracked him down on Facebook.

Alpha Gray, 30, made the mistake of telling the woman his unusual first name and age when he accosted her on the street.

Soon she was trawling through the social networking site armed also with the knowledge that he said he lived nearby. He was arrested after the woman, who is in her 20s, told police she had traced him.

Gray, from Holloway, north London, was found guilty of attempted rape, sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm on 10-2 majority verdicts, after a retrial. He was remanded in custody at the Old Bailey for sentencing on February 11.

Gray had denied he was the attacker in May, but said he had been to a nearby party to drown his sorrows after the knife murder of his brother Anthony a fortnight before.

The victim told the court she was left with bruises and a bleeding ear after Gray tried to rape her in the street in Tufnell Park, north London. But he had told her his name was Alpha, he was 30, and he lived in Holloway.

She said: "It's such an unusual name. I didn't think it was his real name. His picture came up and it turned out he knew someone I knew.There was a picture of him on a beach holding a little girl. From that picture I could not tell if it was him. I was not 100% sure." But when she viewed a video parade, she picked out Gray.

Paul Cavin, prosecuting, said Gray had tried to chat the woman up before trying to rape her and punching her to the ground. The assault came to a sudden end when Gray apologised and offered to help her.

After reporting the attack to police, the woman went on Facebook where she put his details in to try to find a profile.

After the verdict, Detective Constable Eleanor Nightingale said: "It's pretty unusual to get the name in a sexual assault by a stranger. If you do get information, it's best to let us deal with it in case it causes complications about identification."

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