Detectives identified a sex attacker by trawling through CCTV images.
Khalid Abdullah, 35, of Towler Street in Peterborough, was today jailed for eight years.
The Sudanese national had threatened his victim with a weapon before dragging her to an alleyway where he pushed her against a building and tried to rape her.
He then apologised and offered the woman his mobile phone to call police before she escaped.
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A joint investigation will be carried out between the Police and the Maritime and Coastguard agency.