One of Britain’s most prolific sexual predators was allowed to remain free to drug, rape and assault more than 100 women over six years after police repeatedly failed to respond to the complaints of his victims.
John Worboys, 51, a licensed London cab driver, was told yesterday he faces a “very substantial” jail sentence after a jury convicted him of 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 of the women, in one case raping his victim.
Police were last night bracing themselves for more women to come forward. They have received 85 complaints so far and believe that over his 13-year career as a London taxi driver he could have drugged and attacked more than 100 female passengers.
The watershed case has exposed serious failings in the way police treat allegations of rape and sexual assault and comes despite years of high-profile policies and promises to improve rape conviction rates that stick at less than 6%.
Campaigners said the details of how police failed to apprehend Worboys for six years, despite receiving numerous complaints from women, exposed the fact that frontline officers remained sexist, dismissive of allegations of sexual assaults and ultimately guilty of “sabotaging” rape inquiries.
Front-line coppers or not, the failure of officers and supervisory staff to notice what was happening on the streets they were responsible for is reprehensible.
Either you’re on the job to protect and serve the public – or you’re just another goof-off leaning on a shovel because you showed up for work.