Monday, March 16, 2009

Black Cab Rapist

I read this article about the “Black Cab” rapist in the UK yesterday and I just had to share it.

The “Black Cab” rapist, John Worboys, sexually assaulted 12 women and attacked at least 85 during his 13 years as a licensed taxi driver.

The most upsetting part of all, is the negligence on the police’s part.
Black cab rapist struck again and again after police mistakes
By Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent

John Worboys, 51, was convicted yesterday of sexually assaulting 12 women after plying them with spiked champagne which he persuaded them to drink by pretending he was celebrating a lottery win. Police believe he attacked more than 200 women during his 13 years as a licensed taxi driver. So far they have identified 85 victims.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation after admitting that detectives missed the chance to catch Worboys more than seven months before he was eventually charged.

Worboys held his head in his hands and sobbed as he was convicted of raping a 27-year-old woman he picked up near Tottenham Court Road, central London, on 21 December 2007. The judge at Croydon Crown Court, Mr Justice Penry-Davey, told the cab driver to expect a "very substantial term of imprisonment" as he adjourned sentencing until 21 April.
His former girlfriend, Kathy Martin, 44, who offered to be a prosecution witness, left the court in tears. She said Worboys lived a double life and she had no idea of his crimes.

Yesterday the IPCC announced that it would review the police investigation into the July 2007 complaint. Senior officers at Scotland Yard took the rare step of referring their investigation to the IPCC. The Met has made changes to how future sexual assault investigations are conducted. From now on it will be compulsory that cases are forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The IPCC commissioner for London, Deborah Glass, said: "It is concerning that despite the Metropolitan Police arresting Worboys in the summer of 2007, he went on to attack more women. There were specific concerns about the investigation into the July 2007 attack. As a result, the IPCC will be examining the investigation and the issues it raises."

Warboys went on to attack at least six women before being arrested and charged in February 2008. After an eight-week trial, he was convicted of 19 of the 21 charges levelled against him.

Detective Inspector Dave Reid said: "He has subjected women to an appalling series of offences. Worboys took advantage of his position of trust. He used his position to carry out degrading, humiliating attacks.

"Having dealt with the women who gave evidence, his refusal to accept what he has done and his insistence on putting them through giving evidence at Crown Court, complete with his horrific suggestions of what they may have done to him, is absolutely appalling."

The detective said the 85 women who came forward are unlikely to be all Worboys's victims. He added: "I think there will be other women who have felt foolish that they have done it. I think it unfortunate because he is not only a sex offender but a very good fraudster."

Reign of terror: Where Worboys attacked

*2002 The first allegation of sexual assault is made that would later be linked to Worboys. Several more, all involving drivers of black cabs in London, are made over the next four years.

*14 October 2006 Victim one picked up in west London. Worboys gives her "aspirin". Offers her champagne to celebrate casino win. Assaults her. She goes to police but later withdraws allegation.

*9 November 2006 Victim two picked up in Regent Street. Worboys claims to have won £70,000. Gives her champagne which leaves her unconscious. She later told the court the 40-minute journey to her Balham home took three hours.

*4 April 2007 22-year-old picked up near Oxford Circus. Victim refuses champagne. Worboys drops her off and says: "You've really wasted my time."

*25 July 2007 19-year-old student flags cab at Covent Garden to take her to Eltham. She drinks champagne and Worboys pushes a pill in her mouth. She wakes with blood in her underwear.

*27 July Worboys arrested for the Eltham attack but later released. Police close investigation three months later.

*20 December 2007 Worboys picks up virgin who is a lesbian in Tottenham Court Road for trip to Putney. Rapes her and his DNA is recovered from semen stains on her clothes. Worboys later sent her a card wishing her a merry Christmas containing £10 he said she dropped in his cab.

*2 January 2008 Picks up 29-year-old. Asks if she'll have sex for money and asked if she would perform a sex act for £100. Worboys says he's always wanted to rape a prostitute. She escapes.

*31 January 2008 Picks up woman in Soho. She has drink. Wakes to find dress ridden up and Worboys fiddling with belt. DNA on his vibrator linked to her.

*5 February 2008 Worboys offers to give a 23-year-old woman a lift home to Twickenham from London Bridge. It is her first night out since having a daughter. She began feeling drowsy as they pull up outside her house and Worboys drove off, the court heard. Forensic experts found traces of condom lubricant in her underwear.

*8 February 2008 As police realise a serial sex attacker may be on the loose, the case is transferred from borough officers to Scotland Yard's specialist crime directorate.

*14 February 2008 Picks up 30-year-old in Soho for trip to Shepherd's Bush. Once alone, Worboys offers her £5,000 to perform a sex act and gave her a glass of champagne, the jury was told. She could see something fizzing in the liquid and did not drink it.

*15 February 2008 Picks up 18-year-old in Soho. She remembers nothing but 30-minute trip takes more than an hour. The court heard she lost a wristband which was later found at Worboys' home.

*15 February 2008 Worboys arrested.


The rapist used 'tool-kit' to molest his victims

Stepping into the back of his black hackney carriage, the passengers picked up by John Worboys were entitled to feel safe, writes Mark Hughes. The 51-year-old was a registered London taxi driver. He had passed stringent tests and acquired "The Knowledge" – the unrivalled familiarity with roads and routes that all the capital's cabbies must have.

But, as he set off on his nightly rounds, Worboys carried with him something else: a sickening "tool kit" with all the paraphernalia he needed to drug and sexually assault young women.

Yesterday, he was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 of the 14 women who gave evidence at his trial. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to proceed with formal charges in the cases of the other 71 women in order to keep the trial manageable in court. But police believe his victims could potentially number more than 200, with many women yet to come forward.

Worboys was arrested once during his spree but detectives did not forward the case to the CPS and he was freed. He went on to attack at least six women before he was finally charged in February 2008.

The first known attack was in October 2006 when Worboys picked up a 25-year-old woman on King's Road in Chelsea and offered her a free lift to her home in Fulham. En route he gave her some "aspirin" when she complained of a headache. He then told her that he had won a large amount of money at a casino and asked if she would join him in a celebratory drink. She agreed and he stopped the taxi in a side street where the pair drank champagne. Her memory was "patchy" but she remembered waking up to find Worboys with his hand up her skirt.

She reported the matter to police but later withdrew the complaint, saying the investigation was moving slowly and she wanted to get on with her life. Over the next nine months he sexually assaulted or attempted to assault at least five other women, but none went to police.

It wasn't until he attacked his seventh victim, in July 2007, that Worboys was arrested.

Officers visited his home in Sovereign Crescent, Rotherhithe, but he was not there. Upon returning home, Worboys realised the police were on to him and handed himself in. He was interviewed, had his DNA taken and was bailed. But officers decided there was insufficient evidence to mount a successful prosecution and did not even pass the file to the CPS.

Crucially, they didn't search his house, where they would have found his "tool kit" which included boxes of wine, Jack Daniels whisky, gin, vodka, small bottles of Tesco champagne, wine glasses, two types of sedative drugs, a box of condoms, and a vibrator. They also found a map, a large number of plastic gloves, a torch and powerful sedative medication.

Despite the police intrusion, Worboys continued his attacks, going out almost every night trawling the streets for women, officers believe. He attacked at least six women in the next seven months, four of whom reported their ordeal to police the next day. It wasn't until February last year, after five individual complaints, that officers realised it was the same man carrying out the attacks.

On 15 February, Worboys was arrested.

During his seven-week trial, Croydon Crown Court heard in horrific detail how Worboys attacked his victims. In one case he told a woman who refused his spiked champagne: "you've really wasted my time tonight". In another, he plied a 25-year-old with alcohol and drugs. She said she was a virgin and a lesbian and had no interest in sleeping with a man. But she awoke in the back of his cab to find him raping her.

Another woman agreed to a drink, telling the court she felt sorry for him. She woke up in the back of his cab to find her dress pulled up with Worboys kneeling above her undoing his belt. Her DNA was later found on a vibrator at Worboys's home.
As time went on, Worboys became more aggressive. In one incident he didn't wait for his sedatives to take effect before assaulting a 29-year-old. He told her it was his fantasy to rape a prostitute. When she said she was not a prostitute, he exposed himself and groped her breasts. She was so afraid she urinated on herself and ran away. As she fled, he shouted: "You can't go and say you've been raped because I always use a Durex."

But the net was closing in on Worboys. On Valentine's Day last year, he attacked his final victim, an 18-year-old he picked up in Soho. The following morning officers arrested him. A plastic cup the girl had drunk champagne from still had remnants of alcohol and sedative drugs and her DNA was found on the rim. Police also found his "tool kit" and £3,680 in cash.

In court, Worboys admitted lying to his passengers and asking them to drink champagne with him. He said it was "banter" designed to attract the female attention he so desperately craved. His previous career was that of a male stripper, "Terry the Minder", but that ended in 1999 when he was 42. He still owns a pornographic film studio in Dorset. He said he yearned for love: "I think it is due to my mum dying when I was young. I lost her when I was 13 and all my friends were getting attention and cuddles and stuff like that. I just did not think I was getting attention."

But he refused to admit he had sexually assaulted the women, forcing them to give evidence in court, something detectives suggest he enjoyed. At one point he wept as he was asked if he had ever drugged and sexually assaulted women. "I haven't," he claimed. "And I think anyone who does that is an evil, evil person."

Mark Hughes

I do have one problem with the way the writer keeps mentioning “police believe he attacked more than 200 women,” because there aren’t any facts to back up this assertion. Isn’t 85 victims enough? I just don’t think it’s important to sensationalize this sort of thing.

I also think this is a perfect example of why it’s so important to report sexual assault crimes. If more women had come forward this man could have been put away a long time ago (not that I’m blaming the women in any way).

I can’t help but feel sympathy for this man’s girlfriend as well. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to find out the person you’ve been sharing your body and life with is such a monster.

It’s dreadful.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah i read this too, terrible terrible thing, its out of the papers now though cos of the Fritzle case in Austria!!!

    ReplyDelete

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