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Rapist John Worboys was ‘fed a defence by Met officer’, TV show claims

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A police officer interviewing black cab rapist John Worboys will be heard “feeding him a defence” in a television documentary aired on Wednesday.

The audio was recorded when Worboys was in custody for attacking a 19-year-old student in Eltham, south east London after picking her up in the West End.

The victim, known only as NBV, tells Channel 5’s Predator: Catching The Black Cab Rapist she was questioned by police about wearing red lipstick and nail varnish.

She claims Met officers asked her how much she had drunk and made her feel like she “deserved” to be preyed on in July 2007.

Detectives believe former male stripper Worboys, now 63, assaulted more than 100 women between 2006 and when he was finally caught in 2008.

In a recording from his first police interview in 2007, a female officer sounds almost apologetic as she asks Worboys: “Forgive me for asking, but I’ve got to ask, because obviously we’ve got to investigate this matter.

“Is it a case of that she engaged in sexual activity with you to pay for her fare?’, to which he replies “Not at all.”

Worboys 2007 police interview tape / Channel 5

“Did she offer to pay you in a sexual way?”, which Worboys again denies.

NBV’S lawyer Phillippa Kaufmann QC tells the programme: “It’s not his account, he is not even saying this is what happened.

“She (The officer) is feeding him a defence – if sexual activity took place this was on the basis that NBV was prostituting herself having not paid the fare.

“If they had actually done some work, they would have realised she did pay the fare. It makes plain that they just didn’t believe a word of it on her part.”

Phillippa Kaufmann QC, Matrix Chambers Barrister / Channel 5

NBV, Worboys’ 79th victim, said listening to his police interview was “traumatic” and “difficult” because he was then released to continue assaults for another six months.

Speaking about her ordeal publicly for the first time, new mother NBV – who has kept the attack secret from her husband – said police never believed she’d been drugged and sexually assaulted in the back of the serial predator’s taxi. 

She added: “They started off by asking a lot of questions about myself.

“They had observed that I had nail polish on, which was red. They asked me whether I would describe myself as a young lady who wears red nail polish and red lipstick.

“They asked me how often I would go out drinking and they continued to ask me how much I had drunk that night.

“The way they behaved made me feel like anything that had happened to me was because I deserved it.”

Worboys was convicted in 2009 of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women and sentenced indefinitely for public protection, with a minimum term of eight years.

John Worboys’ black cab / PA

He would offer victims a spiked glass of champagne claiming he was celebrating a win on the lottery or casino. 

In 2018, the Parole Board said Worboys could be freed – but the decision was reversed following a landmark legal challenge, supported by the Prime Minister’s fiancée Carrie Symonds, who waived her right to anonymity to reveal she had been preyed on by the cabbie.

In 2019, he was ordered to serve two additional life sentences, for a minimum of six years, after more victims came forward.

Last month, Worboys, who now goes by the name John Radford, lost a Court of Appeal challenge against the new life sentences for attacks on four more women.

The documentary also reveals that Worboys kept a diary detailing the excuses for his sex attacks in rehearsal for any police interrogation.

Examining Worboys words in his diary / Channel 5

Scotland Yard said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to providing the best possible service to victims of rape and sexual offences, and ensuring that they are at the heart of every investigation.

“Victims should always be treated with respect and dignity by officers, and have confidence that officers will make every effort to investigate serious allegations and bring offenders to justice.

“The Met has previously apologised for the serious failings in the investigation of rapes committed by John Worboys, and the distress that these have caused survivors.”

Predator: Catching The Black Cab Rapist is on Channel 5 on Wednesday March 24 at 9pm.

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