A man who attacked and seriously sexually assaulted a teenage girl and a woman in Greenwich and Blackheath in 2001 has been jailed.

Christopher Allan, 40, from the Charlton area, was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court of attempted rape and indecent assault and was sent to prison for 12 years.

He had evaded capture for more than a decade until, in a dispute with his neighbour, his DNA was taken and matched with the cold cases. Police say he may have perpetrated other attacks.

The court heard how Allan attacked his first victim, a 16-year-old girl as she walked home late at night in Blackheath in April 2001.

As she made her way home, she realised a man was following her. She crossed and re-crossed the road to lose him but he grabbed her from behind and pulled her into bushes. Allan sexually assaulted the girl and threatened to kill her if she said anything.

Two months later, in June, a 26-year- old woman underwent the same terrifying ordeal. She was walking home from work in the early hours of the morning when she noticed Allan was following her.

She stepped to the side of the path to let him pass but as he did so, Allan grabbed her and pulled her into a front garden. He sexually assaulted her but was disturbed by a witness and fled the scene.

Despite officers recovering forensic evidence from both scenes, no suspect was found until 2014 when the DNA match was uncovered and he was charged.

Det Con Nichola Buckley of Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command led the investigation. She said: “Despite overwhelming evidence against Christopher Allan, he chose to plead not guilty and put both victims through the ordeal of a trial.

“Both victims in this case have shown a huge amount of strength throughout this investigation. Not only did they have to endure these horrendous attacks in 2001 but they had their lives turned upside down again all these years later upon the arrest and subsequent conviction of Allan. I would like to commend them for their bravery and hope that they can feel some closure now justice has been served.”

“It cannot be ruled out that Allan has been responsible for other attacks. If anyone thinks they have been the victim of Christopher Allan, please contact police via 101.”