A “dangerous” man has been convicted of abducting and sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl at Madame Tussauds in London.
Oldkount Ballabbas, 42, assaulted the girl while she was alone in the tourist attraction’s gift shop in August, according to the Metropolitan Police.
A jury found Ballabbas, an Algerian national of no fixed abode, guilty of sexual assault and child abduction at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.
A police spokesman said the girl had briefly left her mother and other family members in the adjacent café when the attack began on 5 August last year.
Ballabbas engaged the victim in conversation and moved her into a quiet area of the gift shop.
He then began touching the girl's chest area over her clothing and kissed her on the cheek, police said.
The girl asked three times to return to her mother but Ballabbas was holding her by the shoulders and she was only able to escape to her family, crying, when he was disturbed and let go.
Security staff were then alerted and called police but Ballabbas had already fled the scene.
He was caught two days later when police recognised him from CCTV footage near Madame Tussauds.
Det Con Liz Clements said: “Ballabbas is a dangerous man and CCTV has revealed that he followed females of all ages prior to the attack on the little girl.
”It was fortunate that he was disturbed by another shopper. This then gave the girl an opportunity to run back to her family who then spoke to security staff.
“I would like to pay credit to the family who have remained dignified throughout this difficult period.”
Detectives are urging anyone who witnessed Ballabbas, who is also known as Xavier Garrero, behaving strangely to come forward.
He is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 6 March.
Madame Tussauds is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London, famous for its waxworks of film stars, political and historical figures.