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John Worboys
John Worboys
Image: Metropolitan Police/PA

'Black cab rapist' jailed for life for attacking four more victims

“He will always pose a risk to women and he can never be allowed back into society,” a lawyer said of John Worboys.
Dec 17th 2019, 10:44 PM 27,964 8

BLACK CAB RAPIST John Worboys has been jailed for life with a minimum term of six years for attacking four more victims, as a court heard he remains as “dangerous” as ever.

The 62-year-old predator, who is already in jail for attacking 12 women, had pleaded guilty to spiking the drinks of an additional four women who came forward last year.

The court heard Worboys had since admitted to a psychologist that he plied a total of 90 women with alcohol, and drugged a quarter of them, after being inspired by pornography.

Worboys told psychiatrists he had been “fantasising” about his crimes since 1986, and was motivated by “hostility towards women”.

A probation report in August this year found: “He is potentially just as dangerous now as the point of the first sentence.”

Sentencing, Mrs Justice McGowan said: “I am satisfied to the required standard, on the evidence I have heard, that you are a continuing risk. I find you are currently dangerous.

“Your offending spans five years more than previously known.

I do not know when, if ever, you will cease to be a risk. It will be for the Parole Board to decide in the future.

The judge added that she was concerned about Worboys’ ability to “manipulate others” and his “failure to admit” the risk he posed.

The Old Bailey heard how Worboys was locked up indefinitely for public protection with a minimum of eight years in 2009, after being found guilty of 19 sex offences against 12 women between 2006 and 2008.

Last year, the UK High Court overturned a decision to release him, and ruled that he should remain in prison, citing his “sense of sexual entitlement”.

The chair of the Parole Board, Nick Hardwick, was forced to resign over the situation after Justice Secretary David Gauke said his position was untenable.

As a result of the publicity, fresh victims came forward to report attacks dating back to 2000, meaning Worboys had been committing crimes up to six years longer than previously thought.

Spiking victims 

Worboys, from Enfield, north London, admitted two charges of administering a drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault, and two further charges of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny QC told how the first victim was picked up by Worboys in 2000 or early 2001, after a night out at a wine bar in Dover Street.

Worboys said he was celebrating a win on the horses before he pulled into a side road off the A40 and plied her with red wine.

Penny said: “The last memory she had was finishing drinking the wine. She had no further memories to what took place that evening until she woke up the next day at her home address. She was naked in bed with her clothes laid out in a trail.”

The second victim, a university student living in north London, was picked up after a night out with friends at a club on New Oxford Street in 2003.

Worboys, who previously worked as a Chippendales stripper, said he had won the lottery and she and her flatmate were his last fare of the night.

When he reached their home, the woman agreed to have a drink with him but her friend got out. He gave her “something fizzy” and drove to Paddington Basin, where she remembered he appeared “in her face”, possibly after kissing her.

She later recalled being back outside her house in the hazy morning light, lying in the floor of the cab.

The next day she was “anxious” and had a “feeling of dread something bad happened”, the court heard.

2.6999160 John Worboys’ cab Source: Metropolitan Police/PA

Penny said: “She went to Edgware police station and stood outside and thought about reporting it, but she did not know what to say to police, that she had a bad feeling.”

Years later, she recognised Worboys from a picture on television, and had “flashbacks” to what happened when she was pregnant with her two children.

The third victim got into Worboys’ cab after a night out in the King’s Road in 2007.

Worboys told her he had won £40,000 (about €47,000) at the casino, showed her a Sainsbury’s bag with banknotes in it, and held up a bottle of champagne.

He pulled up and gave her a drink, but she remembered saying she wanted to go, and tipping it on the ground.

She woke up in bed the next day with a hangover.

The fourth woman was attacked in 2007 or 2008, after she got into Worboys’ cab with a friend.

He told them he had won the lottery and offered them miniature bottles of champagne.

The woman took three sips from a cup before she decided to stop drinking, because he was a stranger.

After dropping off her friend, he continued on to the woman’s home, but she had no memory of getting from the kerbside to her flat.

Penny said: “She woke up in bed the following morning. The bedclothes had not moved and her hands were crossed over her chest, which was unusual.

“She was sufficiently unnerved to check herself. There were no visible signs she had been touched.”

She felt “out of it” and slept deeply “as if someone had turned the light out”, the court heard.

Penny said: “The consistent themes throughout, together with the content of what took place, seems to be the profound effect not knowing what happened has had in each of these women throughout their lives, as a result of having been unfortunate enough to get into the defendant’s black cab.”

Ali Bajwa QC, in mitigation, said the defendant, also known as John Radford, had expressed “sincere” remorse.

Mrs Justice McGowan had rejected Worboys’ attempt to minimise the extent of his crimes by disputing that he first struck as early as 2000.

‘Life must mean life’ 

Afterwards, Richard Scorer, who represented 11 of Worboys’ victims, said: “Today’s sentencing will be welcome to Worboys’ many victims – but only if life really means life.

Worboys is an exceptionally manipulative and dangerous individual. He will always pose a risk to women and he can never be allowed back into society.

“Given the many past failings in this case, his victims remain very concerned that he could game the Parole Board once again. He needs to be locked up permanently – only then can his victims finally feel safe.”

Scorer added: “The fact that he tried to lie his way out of a life sentence, forcing one of his victims to give evidence, proves the sickening lack of remorse and contempt he still holds for these women whose lives he wrecked. Yet he has still only been prosecuted for a fraction of the 100-plus allegations against him.”

Tina Dempster, of the Crown Prosecution Service, added that Worboys is “a dangerous predator who still poses a clear threat to women”.

“The CPS concluded it was clearly in the public interest to prosecute him again, when more victims came forward last year and revealed he had been assaulting women much earlier than he appeared prepared to accept, or to admit to the Parole Board.”

“Worboys claims to show remorse and believes he deserves credit for these guilty pleas. But the fact is he did not accept responsibility for his first set of convictions until recently and, in a clear effort to minimise the extent of his crimes, continued to dispute victims’ accounts of the latest offences.

Dempster paid tribute to “the bravery of all women who came forward and today helped keep a prolific sex offender behind bars”. 

Detective Chief Inspector Ann-Marie Waller, of Scotland Yard, said: “Radford’s criminal history and predatory nature is well-documented and the disgust and anger about his serial offending will endure for years to come.

“Like all of his victims, the four women who saw justice done today were passengers in his taxi and were incapacitated by a drink offered to them by Radford on false pretences, and for his own sexual gratification.“

In all, Worboys received two life sentences with minimum terms of six years for drugging women with intent plus six years in jail for two charges of administering a substance with intent. All the sentences are to run concurrently.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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