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retired stripper?


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London cabbie guilty of sex attacks

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John Worboys, 51, plied his young victims with champagne laced with sedatives before pouncing on them in the back of his black cab.

The retired stripper, who wept in the dock as he was convicted, told his victims that he had won huge sums of cash at casinos and on the lottery and invited them to celebrate with him.

Worboys was found guilty of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women passengers. In one case he raped his victim. He was cleared of two counts of drugging women.

During the seven-week trial, the court in south London heard how Worboys preyed on women he picked up in London's West End and the wealthy Kensington district.

Prosecutors said the experienced licensed hackney cab driver targeted 14 women in total over 18 months until his arrest in February last year.

Worboys cruised the streets late at night looking for women who had already been drinking to offer heavily discounted or even free lifts home. He often told victims he lived in the same direction and was concerned they would be approached by illegal minicab drivers.

Once in the cab, Worboys spun them a story of how he had won money on the lottery or at a casino and showed them a carrier bag stuffed full of cash. He then offered them a glass of champagne or other alcoholic drink to help him celebrate as he said it was his last fare of the night.

But the drinks were mixed with powerful sedatives that left his victims stupefied and powerless to stop him sexually assaulting them.

As the women succumbed to the drugs, Worboys would drive around in circles as he turned the conversation to sex, in some cases offering the women as much as £5,000 to perform sex acts.

The court heard many women were left with little memory of their ordeals and can only recall falling asleep in the back of the vehicle before waking up at home.

Some were left with flashbacks and vague memories of Worboys sitting beside them and adjusting their clothing. One woman remembered being raped, a second woke up to find him with his hand up her skirt and a third said he exposed himself.

The cab driver kept a stash of miniature champagne bottles, as well as other drinks including wine, vodka, gin and whisky, in the passenger footwell.

He admitted lying to the women and offering them drinks but claimed he did it because he craved female attention in the wake of a series of failed relationships.

But police discovered a "rape kit", including gloves, alcohol, glasses, drugs, condoms and a sex toy concealed in a plastic bag in another vehicle at his home. Detectives also found many journeys took considerably longer than necessary while women were left violently ill and some had traces of drugs in their blood.

The jury was told Worboys used plastic gloves and disposable cups to reduce the chances of leaving forensic traces on his victims.

One woman claimed he said: "You can't go and say that you have been raped because I always use a Durex."

Nevertheless, police were able to find his DNA on the bodies and clothes of two women.

Some passengers said he behaved oddly and aggressively when they either poured the drink away or only sipped it because they were suspicious. He shouted at one woman "you've really wasted my time tonight" as she ran from the cab.

Worboys, of Sovereign Crescent Rotherhithe, south east London, was found guilty of rape, attempted sexual assault, sexual assault and administering a substance with intent.

Mr Justice Penry-Davey addressed the defendant, saying: "You have heard already that I do not intend to sentence you today. I am putting the case back for a pre-sentencing report and also a psychiatric report.

"You must be under no illusion that this case requires and will get a very substantial term of imprisonment."


"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
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