Peeping Tom nabbed by cops
By Sara Marett
London police have arrested and charged a man who they believe is the perpetrator of, among other offenses, two early morning incidents of break and enter and attempted sexual assault which occurred Jan. 3.
Joseph Alexander Gow, age 26, of Sandridgham Crescent, has been charged with two counts of break and enter with the intent to commit an indictable offence, one count of disguise with intent to commit an indictable offence, one count of theft under $5,000, one count of possession of a break-in instrument and three counts of trespassing.
Sgt. John O'Flaherty of the London Police Department said they believe from the facts uncovered during an intense investigation that began in June 1997, it is reasonable and probable Gow is the man who attempted to break in and sexually assault two females in early January.
Since these incidents, police have been investigating numerous reports of a suspicious male trespassing on private property in the evening hours in the area of Richmond Street, Queen's Avenue, Talbot Street and Huron Street, O'Flaherty said.
The two incidents, for which Gow was charged, occurred at around 5 a.m. when police received two reports involving a male, approximately five-foot-ten or 11 inches tall and 180 pounds, wearing a dark ski suit and ski mask. In one incident, the male was attempting to break into a female's apartment and was looking through her windows. In another, the male did break into the apartment and attempted to assault the female.
Gow was arrested on Sat. Jan. 24, shortly after 1 a.m.. Police responded to a call which reported a suspicious-looking male loitering behind a residence on John Street. Over 15 officers went to the scene and chased Gow on foot to Ann Street where he was finally caught by police, O'Flaherty said.
The two counts of break and enter with the intent to commit an indictable offence are deemed very serious in the eyes of the court, O'Flaherty said. "If he was intending to commit a sexual assault, he could receive life in prison for these offences."
O'Flaherty urged students to call the police if they see someone suspicious trespassing. "Sometimes, like in the situation with [Gow], a perpetrator starts out as a peeping Tom an it escalates from there to somethng much more serious."