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Sexual Offences

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 updated the law, much of which dated back to 1956.

The main provisions of the Act include the following:

  • Rape is widened to include oral penetration
  • Significant changes to the issue of consent
  • Specific offences relating to children under 13, 16 and 18
  • Offences to protect vulnerable persons with a mental disorder
  • Other miscellaneous offences
  • Strengthening the notification requirements and providing new civil preventative orders

Find out more about how we prosecute sexual offences

London cab driver guilty of multiple sexual offences on passengers

11/03/2009

London black cab driver John Worboys has today been convicted for sexual attacks against 12 women for offences he committed in London between October 2006 and February 2008.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, Tony Connell, said:

"By preying on vulnerable women who were alone, late at night, and in need of a safe journey home, John Worboys grossly abused the trust that they and many of us place in London's licensed cab drivers.

"In providing them with stories about his apparent good luck and showing them a bag full of cash to back up his lies, he was able to persuade, coerce and, in some cases, bully his victims into sharing his falsified good fortune. The 'celebratory drink' they shared with him, and which he had laced with drugs, rendered his victims incapable of defending themselves.

"John Worboys is a dangerous and prolific predator and thanks to the victims who bravely gave evidence for the prosecution at this trial, Mr Worboys is no longer free to victimise vulnerable women."

The jury heard that in several cases Worboys had approached his victims offering them a ride home at a reduced fare, telling them he was going in the same direction. All of his victims, who were unknown to each other and aged between late teens and early thirties, told similar stories about how Worboys had lied about winning money and had persuaded them to share a drink with him.

Many reported that a short journey home had seemed to take much longer than necessary and that, after having taken a drink, they could not clearly remember the events of the following few hours.

In February 2008 the media reported Mr Worboys' arrest, and following a police appeal more witnesses came forward to report their experiences which included six of the victims who gave evidence in the trial.

Mr Worboys admitted in court that the victims had been passengers in his cab, and that he had lied about his name and about winning large sums of money, but maintained that he had not drugged them, and that they had consented to sexual contact.

The jury at Croydon Crown Court considered the evidence relating to a 23-count indictment in a trial which lasted seven weeks. Worboys was convicted of:

  • 1 count of rape
  • 1 count of assault by penetration
  • 4 counts of sexual assault
  • 1 count of attempted sexual assault
  • 12 counts of administering a substance with intent

Mr Worboys will be sentenced on 21 April 2009 at Croydon Crown Court.

Ends

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