London taxi driver sent to jail for raping female passengers

April 21st, 2009 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 21 (DPA) A London taxi driver who drugged and sexually assaulted at least a dozen of his female passengers was Tuesday given an indefinite jail sentence but will have to serve at least eight years.
Croydon Crown Court sentenced John Worboys, 51, after convicting him of one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges committed in the London area between July 2007 and February 2008.

Worboys, a former stripper, offered the women, who would often be on their way home from a night out in London, champagne spiked with powerful sedatives to celebrate a fictional lottery win.

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

Police said Worboys is the prime suspect in at least 85 attacks in the London area and in the county of Dorset, in southwest Britain, going back as far as 2002.

Detectives would continue to interview Worboys in prison in an attempt to clear up dozens of unsolved sex crimes.

“Drivers of licensed black cabs have a worldwide reputation for their trustworthiness - you saw the opportunity of exploiting that trust and sexually abusing young women,” the presiding judge said to Worboys when handing down the sentence.

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