Channel 5’s new documentary, Predator: Catching the Black Cab Rapist, examines the crimes of taxi driver John Worboys, who preyed on young women in London for years, until his eventual arrest in 2008.
Amongst his victims was the prime minister’s fiancée and mother of their child, Carrie Symonds
Who was the John Worboys
John Worboys, who now goes by the name John Radford, was jailed in 2009 after being found guilty of 19 offences involving attacks on 12 women, although the police believe he may have had over 100 victims.
Worboys would drive around the UK capital in the early hours of the morning, where he would pick up women looking for a ride home.
Once in the black cab, he would offer his victims a glass of champagne spiked with sedatives under the pretence he was out celebrating a big win at the casino or a lottery win. He also showed off a bag full of money to support this claim.
The victims were eventually dropped off at their destinations, and would often have little or no memory of what had happened to them.
When was Carrie Symonds picked up by Worboys?
Carrie Symonds was one of the fourteen women who testified against Worboys at his trial.
Symonds stepped into Worboys’ cab when she was age 19 in July 2007.
Then a first year student at Warwick University, she had been waiting at a bus stop after a night out in Fulham when Worboys pulled up on the King’s Road.
Symonds only had £5 on her when he pulled up, but the seemingly kind taxi driver appeared to take pity on her and offered to accept that as payment because he lived in the same direction as her.
She was then subjected to the well practised routine that Worboys used on his unsuspecting victims.
Symonds would eventually pour the champagne on the floor of his cab without having a sip after she sensed danger.
Worboys would go on to explain to Symonds about a time where a woman had performed a sex act on him for £250, and propositioned if she would do the same.
Having noticed the spiked champagne had not worked, Worboys stopped the taxi and got in the back to join her.
Despite Carrie’s pleas that she was young and needed to get home, Worboys challenged her to down a shot of vodka for £50 and a free lift home.
Speaking to The Telegraph in March 2009, Symonds said: "I felt indebted to him because he had given me a cheap lift home. But when I got the glass I secretly poured it on to the floor as I was worried it might be spiked."
After being offered the vodka, Symonds said: "I downed it, which was stupid, as I just wanted to get home. From that point on I can't really remember what happened.”
"He seemed to be this sad man who had no one to celebrate with him. I pitied him, I didn't feel frightened - I just thought he was weird."
Symonds was left with no memory of the rest of her journey home, and has been left uncertain what Worboys did to her.
Once she returned home, Symonds collapsed in front of her mum while vomiting and laughing hysterically before passing out.
Symonds, who was 20 when the case went on trial, said it was “absolutely terrifying” when she learnt about the number of victims he had gone after.
"I was definitely in a position of danger, in a situation where I was not in control and I will never know what really happened to me,” she added.
"He is a sad, wicked man who is a danger to society. I feel so angry that he pleaded not guilty and made us go through the pain of giving evidence in court."
Where is John Worboys now?
John Worboys was jailed for life in December 2019, with a minimum term of six years at the Old Bailey, after he admitted spiking the drinks of four women.
Worboys also lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his sentence in February 2021, meaning he will not be up for release again until 2025.