Is This Britain's Most Prolific Sex Offender?

Man who may be Britain's most prolific sex offender drugged lone female fares.

ByABC News
March 15, 2009, 3:08 PM

LONDON, March 15, 2009 -- As a licensed driver of one of London's respected black cabs, John Worboys appeared to be a man you could trust to get you home safely late at night. In reality, he carried out attacks on women for 13 years, undetected by the police.

The cabbie was convicted on Friday of drugging and carrying out sexual attacks on 12 women, one of whom he raped, between October 2006 and February 2008. The actual figure of his assaults is thought to be much higher. Police have linked him to 85 attacks dating back to 2002 and officers believe he could have preyed on hundreds more women.

Worboys would target lone and often drunken women stumbling out of West London nightclubs and bars. He operated late at night when business was lucrative and the women were most vulnerable.

With his charming and friendly manner, Worboys, using the name "Tony," would then trick his passengers into believing he'd just won large sums of cash by gambling. He would flash a bag of money and invite the young woman to celebrate his win, offering them a glass of champagne or vodka spiked with sedatives.

Once the drugs had taken effect, Worboys would pull over, climb into the back of his cab and sexually assault his victims. Then he drove them home.

A special police hotline has been set up for women to come forward. It's possible that many victims have been too frightened to report their ordeal or simply don't remember it, police said. A spokesman from Scotland Yard told ABC News the hotline had received a number of calls over the weekend.

The story made big headlines in Britain over the weekend. The so-called "taxi rapist" is being called one of the country's most prolific sex offenders ever.

London's licensed black cabs are known as being a safe ride home late at night. Londoners are regularly told to be careful using minicabs and to try to take a black cab home. Police leading the investigation say it was his position of trust that allowed Worboys to lure unsuspecting women into his cab.