Black cab rapist John Worboys to challenge sentence at Court of Appeal

The 63-year-old is bringing an appeal against his life sentence with a minimum term of six years, imposed in December 2019.

Black cab rapist John Worboys to challenge sentence at Court of Appeal

Black cab rapist John Worboys will challenge his sentence at the Court of Appeal.

The 63-year-old predator, who now goes by the name John Radford, was jailed for life with a minimum term of six years at the Old Bailey in December 2019 after he admitted spiking the drinks of four women.

He was already behind bars at the time, having been locked up indefinitely for public protection with a minimum term of eight years in 2009, after he was found guilty of 19 sex offences against 12 women between 2006 and 2008.

Police believe the former male stripper committed offences against more than 100 women before he was caught.

A Parole Board decision to release him was overturned by the High Court in March 2018 after two of his victims challenged the decision.

The Royal Courts of Justice in central London (Nick Ansell/PA)
The Royal Courts of Justice in central London (Nick Ansell/PA)

As a result of the publicity, more victims came forward to report attacks dating back to 2000, meaning Worboys had been committing crimes up to six years longer than previously thought.

He was charged with further offences in May 2019 and admitted two counts of administering a drug with intent to commit rape or indecent assault, and two counts of administering a substance with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, will consider an application by Worboys for permission to bring an appeal against his most recent sentence at a hearing on Wednesday.

If the court grants his application, it may go on to consider his appeal in full.

Worboys, from Enfield, north London, became known as the black cab rapist after attacking victims in his hackney carriage.

In several of the incidents, he pretended to be celebrating a win on the horses, or the lottery, as a pretext to give his victims alcohol – which he had laced with drugs.

During his sentencing at the Old Bailey, the court heard he had admitted to a psychologist that he plied a total of 90 women with alcohol, and drugged a quarter of them, after being inspired by pornography.

Worboys told psychiatrists he had been “fantasising” about his crimes since 1986, and was motivated by “hostility towards women”.

A probation report in August 2019 found: “He is potentially just as dangerous now as the point of the first sentence.”

Sentencing him, Mrs Justice McGowan said: “I am satisfied to the required standard, on the evidence I have heard, that you are a continuing risk.

“I find you are currently dangerous. Your offending spans five years more than previously known.

“I do not know when, if ever, you will cease to be a risk. It will be for the Parole Board to decide in the future.”

The judge added that she was concerned about Worboys’ ability to “manipulate others” and his “failure to admit” the risk he posed.

In all, Worboys received two life sentences with minimum terms of six years for drugging women with intent plus six years in jail for two charges of administering a substance with intent.

All the sentences are to run concurrently.

Following his sentence, Tina Dempster, of the CPS, said: “John Worboys is a dangerous predator who still poses a clear threat to women.

“The CPS concluded it was clearly in the public interest to prosecute him again, when more victims came forward last year and revealed he had been assaulting women much earlier than he appeared prepared to accept, or to admit to the Parole Board.

“Worboys claims to show remorse and believes he deserves credit for these guilty pleas.

“But the fact is he did not accept responsibility for his first set of convictions until recently and, in a clear effort to minimise the extent of his crimes, continued to dispute victims’ accounts of the latest offences.

“I would like to pay tribute to the bravery of all women who came forward and today helped keep a prolific sex offender behind bars.”

The Court of Appeal hearing is due to start at 10.30am.

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