A man who assaulted three women in 30 minutes has been jailed after a group of boys on bikes detained him.
Dylan Makepeace was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday, with an additional three years on licence, after the spate of attacks on 27 November last year.
His crime spree began at about 5.30pm, when two women noticed him behaving strangely near their address in Bethnal Green, east London.
The two women became aware that Makepeace was following them into their residential block and onto their floor despite earlier asking them how to get to a different floor, the Metropolitan police said.
A spokesperson said: “Out of concern, one of the women began briefly filming Makepeace. All of a sudden he launched an attack on the women. Both women fought back and hit out at him.
“After a significant struggle in which Makepeace pushed the women to the floor and pinned them to the ground, he ran off after one of the women hit him with a mobile phone. As a result of the attack, the women sustained cuts and scratches.”
About half an hour later, he approached a third woman walking home from the gym. He followed behind her for a while before he grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth. Makepeace then began calling her offensive names before sexually assaulting her by touching her over her clothing, the force said.
The woman continued to fight back and managed to hit him with her keys. Makepeace ran off when some boys on bikes appeared outside the apartment block.
A resident heard the woman’s screams and came out to help before taking her into their flat and calling the police.
Officers arrived on scene and were flagged down by the young men on bikes who had followed Makepeace and detained him until police arrived.
Detective Sergeant Michael Dixon, who led the investigation for the Met’s Central East Safeguarding team, said: “Dylan Makepeace is very clearly a danger to the public and especially lone women. He was opportunistic and violent in his approach. He specifically targeted women as they returned home and entered private residential areas to carry out his attacks.
“I want to pay tribute to the bravery of these three women. They all showed incredible fortitude as they supported our investigation. I am in no doubt that London is a safer place with Dylan Makepeace behind bars.”
Makepeace was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and was issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.