The son of a young mother murdered on Wimbledon Common 25 years ago has published a book about his life.

Alex Hanscombe was just three-years-old when a stranger attacked and sexually assaulted his mother, Rachel Nickell, in front of him during a walk with their dog.

Rachel, who was just 23, was stabbed 49 times. Alex says he was pushed aside and saw a man draw a knife. Afterwards, he saw the killer wash his hands of blood in a nearby stream.

The family were living in Balham up until the time of the attack in 1992. Alex and his father Andre moved to rural France shortly after the murder, due to unrelenting press attention.

Wimbledon Guardian:
Alex's mother Rachel was just 23 when she was killed

Alex, now 27, said he hadn't planned on writing a book. He said: "It wasn't something that I planned to do, I was asked by people but I had never considered it seriously.

"More than anything it was me reaching a point in my life where I was compelled to do it, and I had reached a higher level of understanding. Pieces of the puzzle came together."

He says he hopes sharing his own journey "from darkness to light" will inspire others to "find their own light".

Wimbledon Guardian:
Alex is now 27, and says he wants to share his journey

Writing about his early life prior to the attack, he said: "In those first three years of life, I wanted to capture that loving feeling of being at home with my parents of loving and being loved in return."

The book also discusses the bungled police investigation in which evidence pointing to the killer, serial rapist Robert Napper, was missed.

Napper was finally convicted of the murder in 2006, thirteen years after the murder. The police had been wrongly focusing their investigation on Colin Stagg.

Napper was previously convicted in 1995 of the murders of Samantha Bisset, and her four-year-old daughter Jasmine. He also admitted to two rapes and two attempted rapes during the trial, but denied involvement in the murder of Rachel Nickell. He is also believed to be the "Green Chain Rapist", and responsible for over 100 other savage attacks.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission released a report in 2010 into the actions of the Metropolitan police and their handling of the murder investigation.

Alex said it was at the request of his father that information be made public.

He said: "I had to do what was in my hands to defend the women whose lives have been affected by this case. It was our duty.

"Mistakes are part of life. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. It's not about the police being good or bad and making mistakes, it's about the institution being bigger than the individual it is meant to serve."

Alex is a qualified hypnotherapist and has been practicing yoga for the last five years. He plans to publish a series of children's stories with his father.

Alex said: "There's no-one else's shoes I'd rather be standing in than my own."