A 21-year-old man who tried to blame an imaginary identical twin for a violent rape has been jailed for 22 years for the attack.
Khaled Argoub followed a woman, in her 20s, from a tube at Colliers Wood station, south-west London, on 11 August and then dragged her into a park where he choked her and sexually assaulted her.
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.”
She added: “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.”
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was walking home from a night out with friends when she was attacked at around 3am.
She noticed Argoub standing in the middle of the road "smirking" at her, she later described.
He then ran towards the her, grabbed hold of her, and dragged her into Wandle Park.
Argoub grabbed her from behind with his arm around her neck, choking her until she blacked out before attempting to rape her.
He also sexually assaulted her.
The victim escaped after biting his hand and ran to a nearby block of flats until police arrived a short time after.
She 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.
Officers discovered a man fitting Argoub wearing a baseball cap on CCTV, which was found at the scene of the crime.
A nail clipping was taken from the victim at hospital, which contained a partial DNA profile for Argoub.
He was arrested and charged on 24 August.
Argoub was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on Thursday after being found guilty of two counts of attempted rape, attempting to choke with intent, assault by penetration and three counts of sexual assault.
He was given an extended sentence of 22 years for attempted rape, with the other sentences of nine and ten years to run concurrently.
He will spend 14 years in custody and will be considered for parole after serving two-thirds of that time.