Police have issued a fresh warning in the run-up to the New Year celebrations over the use of mistletoe by would-be middle-aged perverts.
A spokeswoman for the Met's Special Victim's Unit said: 'We would like to reiterate our previous warnings concerning the use of mistletoe as a way for sexually-deprived middle-aged men to assault women this festive season.
'In recent years, we've seen a rise in reports of young women who have been left shaken and terrified after being "caught" under some mistletoe, which is a controlled substance, by an older man.'
She said that men - particularly those in their 40s, 50s and 60s - would plant the banned substance above doorways and from lampshades at parties.
'They will then loiter, pretending to be talking loudly about golf, until a young woman passes underneath the mistletoe.
'Then they swoop on the woman exclaiming: "Oh come on then, my dear. Give Uncle Colin a kiss - you'll be making Hilda jealous!"
'In all but a few cases,' the spokeswoman added, 'they are not even related to the victim, let alone an uncle.'
One woman, who has asked not to be named, said she was attacked last year by a man calling himself Uncle Philip, despite her never having met him before.
'It has totally ruined my life', she said. 'I still wake up in cold sweats and I've not been able to attend a single Christmas party this year.'
Describing her ordeal, she continued: 'He was wearing this awful checked shirt and I could see his belly popping out the bottom.
'He'd been drinking whisky, so his breath was disgusting, and his comb-over was stuck to his forehead with sweat.
'He just came at me and I couldn't get away. He insisted on kissing me on the lips and I think he squeezed my bum.
'It was just awful.'
Police have previously said they would be taking a harder line on miss-use of mistletoe this year, amid calls for its legal classification to be upgraded. Offenders can now expect up to ten years in prison if caught with it in their possession.