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Black cab rapist' caged for attacks

PUBLISHED: 17:17 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 August 2010

A TAXI driver feared to be one of Britain s most prolific sex attackers was given an indeterminate sentence for drugging and assaulting a string of women in his cab on Tuesday.

A TAXI driver feared to be one of Britain's most prolific sex attackers was given an indeterminate sentence for drugging and assaulting a string of women in his cab on Tuesday.

Retired stripper John Worboys, 51, was dubbed the 'Black Cab Rapist' after being convicted of preying on 12 women in the back of his taxi.

It is feared he may have claimed hundreds more victims and has been linked to at least 85 attacks in London and Bournemouth dating back to 2002.

He struck first in October 2006, drugging a 26-year-old office worker on her way home to Fulham. She woke to find Worboys with his hand up her skirt.

Undeterred, Worboys attacked a further six women until July 2007 when he was arrested for an alleged sexual assault.

The 19-year-old student from Eltham revealed to police for the first time how Worboys put his plan in to action.

The cabbie was questioned and bailed, but officers dropped the case because of a lack of evidence.

Within two months of being released from bail, Worboys attacked again, raping a 27-year-old virgin lesbian a few days before Christmas.

Worboys drugged a further six women in January and February of last year until he was finally arrested.

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) continues in to how Worboys was allowed to walk free and go on to rape a passenger and molest three others.

Chief Superintendent Chris Jarratt, borough commander for Greenwich, whose officers led the initial investigation is leaving his post following blunders in the Worboys case.

Greenwich police also failed to arrest Kevin Bishop, 22, for a knifepoint mugging before he murdered Harry Potter actor Rob Knox in Sidcup last year.

At the end of a seven week trial at Croydon Crown Court last month, a jury of seven women and five men convicted the cabbie of 19 separate offences including one rape.

Mr Justice Penry-Davey QC gave Worboys an indeterminate sentence for public protection and ordered he serve minimum of eight years.

He said: "You developed and perfected a web of deceit that was sufficient to ensnare young intelligent and sensible women who had enjoyed a night out and whose only mistake as it turned out was to get into your cab later at night."

Grey-haired Worboys, smartly dressed in a grey suit, showed no emotion as he was led from the dock with his head bowed.

Worboys, of Sovereign Crescent, Rotherhithe, south-east London, denied 14 counts of administering a substance with intent; six charges of sexual assault; one assault by penetration; one rape and one attempted sexual assault.

He was convicted of drugging 12 women and found guilty of one count of rape and one count of assault by penetration on a 33-year-old businesswoman in February last year.

Worboys was further convicted of four sexual assaults on four women and one count of attempted sexual assault, relating to his first victim in October 2006.

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