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Black cab rapist Worboys may avoid life sentence due to sex attack date

One of the victims of black cab rapist John Worboys has been forced to give evidence in court because he disputes the date of the attack
One of the victims of black cab rapist John Worboys has been forced to give evidence in court because he disputes the date of the attack

By Henry Vaughan

One of the victims of black cab rapist John Worboys has been forced to give evidence in court because he disputes the date of the attack.

Worboys (62) was jailed indefinitely for the public protection with a minimum of eight years in 2009 for sex offences against 12 women.

He is now facing a possible life sentence after admitting four more attacks on women who he picked up in his taxi before plying them with spiked champagne so he could sexually assault them.

Worboys, who is said to have a hernia, had been expected to be in the dock at the Old Bailey to be jailed on Monday, but appeared in court by video-link from Wakefield prison, wearing a blue shirt and glasses.

The judge said the medical evidence "just about ticked the box", but Worboys's barrister Ali Bajwa QC said his client was "willing and ready to travel", and it was the prison's decision not to bring him to court.

Worboys, who now goes by the name John Derek Radford, spoke to confirm his name and nodded when asked if he could hear proceedings before his first victim gave evidence behind a screen.

She says she was attacked after she got into his cab when she left a wine bar in Dover Street, Mayfair in 2000 or 2001.

However, Worboys claims the incident happened much later, after January 1, 2003, meaning High Court judge Mrs Justice McGowan must make a ruling before sentencing him.

He could potentially get a lesser sentence if she decides that he is right because the length of his offending would have been shorter.

The victim recognised Worboys after seeing publicity about his case in 2009 and in December 2018 picked him out in an identity parade.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she came forward after reading that Worboys was due to be released last year. "I thought it was my duty really to give my statement. I thought that would just be it," she said.

A fresh Parole Board hearing ruled that he should remain in prison, citing his "sense of sexual entitlement" and a need to control women, after an earlier decision that he should be set free was overturned.

Worboys's victim was not questioned about the attack itself, which was outlined by Jonathan Polnay at an earlier hearing.

Mr Polnay earlier said the second victim was a university student in London in 2003 when she was targeted after leaving a nightclub on New Oxford Street in what was "an identical method not only to the first count but a number of previous convictions and allegations three and four".

All the women made their allegations to police in early 2018.

The defendant, originally from Enfield, north London, pleaded guilty to two counts of administering a stupefying or overpowering drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault.

He admitted two further charges of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence under the Sexual Offences Act.

Worboys may decide to give evidence before he is sentenced at a date to be set.

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