"I just wanted to stay alive and to protect her," the 35-year-old victim told police. "The man was a stranger and said he had a knife and would kill us. I have never seen such a look of terror as I saw on my daughter's face."
The terrified young girl was forced to witness her mother's rape in an attack that was described by police as "a nightmare."
The man had knocked on the door of the victim's flat on the Waltham Estate in Brixton, south London, then forced his way in. Scotland Yard said the victim was overpowered and terrified by the man, who was more than six feet tall.
He made the frightened woman strip, raped and seriously sexually assaulted her in front of her daughter. He then indecently assaulted her daughter.
When the mother realised he intended to rape her daughter, too, she attacked him with a pair of scissors, then ran naked on to the balcony of her flat to summon help from the neighbours. The man escaped.
Detective Inspector Steve Putnam of Brixton CID said the attack had shocked and upset police. Seeing the look of terror on her daughter's face, "she did what any mother or father would have done and summoned up a reserve of strength". DI Putnam said it could have been a random attack, but police were worried that he might strike again. "We don't know why he attacked her."
The attack took place on Sunday, 6 September. The man police are hunting is described as white with blond, swept-back hair, about 30, with an oval face, blue eyes and pale complexion.
Police have issued an e-fit and have asked anyone who recognises him to call Brixton CID on 0171-326 1212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.Reuse content