February 9, 2014
A man snatched an 8-year-old girl away from her parents before subjecting her to a sex assault in the gift shop of world famous tourist attraction Madame Tussaud’s in central London.
Algerian Oldkount Ballabbas, 42, grabbed the girl when she was alone in the shop on August 5 last year, when she was briefly away from her family who were in the nearby cafe.
He began to speak to her and moved her away from crowds before touching her on the chest over her clothes and kissing her on the cheek.
The girl asked three times to return to her mother, but Ballabbas was holding her by the shoulders, and it was only when he was disturbed and lost physical contact with the victim that she was able to escape, crying, to her family.
Security staff were then alerted and called police. Ballabbas had already fled the scene.
A CCTV still provided by Madame Tussauds was circulated. Two days later, on 7 August, a local Safer Neighbourhoods Team police officer recognised the suspect near to Madame Tussauds and Ballabbas was arrested.
Ballabbas was charged on 8 August 2013 with sexual assault on a child under 13 and with child abduction.
He is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on the 6 March.
Det Con Liz Clements “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.”
The detectives would also like to thank Madame Tussauds for their co-operation throughout the investigation.
Detectives believe Ballabbas also attempted to touch other females prior to the attack on the young girl. Anyone with information are asked to call detectives on 0208 733 5999.