A rapist who tried to blame an imaginary identical twin for the attack has been jailed for 22 years.
Khaled Argoub, 21, followed a woman off a tube and dragged her into a dark park where he choked her until she blacked out and sexually assaulted her.
He was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on 17 September after being found guilty of two counts of attempted rape.
He was also found guilty of attempting to choke with intent, assault by penetration and three counts of sexual assault.
Khaled Argoub, 21, was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court after being found guilty of two counts of attempted rape
Argoub was given an extended sentence of 22 years for attempted rape, with the other sentences of nine and ten years to run concurrently.
Fourteen of those he will spend in custody. He will be considered for parole after serving two thirds of the 14 years.
The victim, who is in her 20s and cannot be named for legal reasons, was walking home from a night out with friends through Colliers Wood, south-west London.
CCTV footage shown at trial showed how Argoub followed her from the night tube, down Colliers Wood High Street before entering a residential road at around 3am.
When the victim was most of the way down the street, she noticed Argoub standing in the middle of the road ‘smirking’ at her, she later described.
The rapist then ran towards the victim, grabbed hold of her, and dragged her into Wandle Park.
He grabbed her from behind with his arm around her neck, chocking her before attempting to rape her. He also sexually assaulted her.
Biting his hand, which was covering her mouth, the victim was able to escape and ran to a nearby block of flats until officers arrived a short time after.
The victim was taken to hospital where she had significant cuts and scratches to her body and reddening to her neck.
Her voice was hoarse from the strangulation and she struggled to speak.
A search was conducted for the suspect, with helicopter and dog support but there was no trace of the defendant.
Officers found a baseball cap with a ‘B’ logo on the front at the scene.
Officers discovered a man fitting Argoub wearing a baseball cap on CCTV, which was found at the scene of the crime.
Twelve minutes later after the attack, he is seen re-entering the station heading towards Tooting Broadway and is no longer wearing the baseball cap.
A nail clipping was taken from the victim at hospital, which contained a partial DNA profile for Argoub.
He was arrested at 0.45am on 24 August and charged later that day.
Kingston Crown Court heard how during a police interview on 26 August, he had attempted to blame the attack on his imaginary twin brother.
Prosecutor Charlotte Newell said: ‘He claimed to have a twin but did not know when he had last seen him or contacted him.
‘This is of course in contradiction to him telling his housemate that he had no family in the UK.
Argoub was given an extended sentence of 22 years for attempted rape at Kingston Crown Court (pictured) with the other sentences of nine and ten years to run concurrently
‘He said he got around London by following people because he is an animal and that he didn’t know Colliers Wood area but his brother might.
‘He said that he could not remember where he was on evening on 10 August but probably in bed sleeping.
‘He was shown CCTV stills of the male at South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood but denied it was him and maintained that it could be his twin brother.’
Detective Constable Faye Castleman, the officer in charge of the investigation, said: ‘On behalf of the victim and her family, I am pleased that justice has been served and I hope that this sentence can bring some closure for them.
‘The victim was immensely brave throughout the investigation and I highly commend her courage.
‘This case also recognises the importance of forensics in helping to identify offenders.
‘We take these cases very seriously and I would encourage anyone who has been through a similar experience to come forward and report it to us in confidence.’