A black-cab driver accused of drugging and sexually assaulting women passengers was branded an “oddball” by his own lawyer today.
John Worboys, 51, is said to have used spiked champagne to drug 14 women - including victims from Putney, Balham, East Sheen and Twickenham - between October 2006 and February last year.
The retired male stripper- who used to call himself “Terry the Minder” - claimed to have won money on the lottery or in a casino to entice female passengers into having a celebratory drink with him.
It is alleged he offered them champagne spiked with over-the-counter pills before climbing into the back of the cab to sexually assault them.
Defence barrister Jeremy Gold QC described Worboys as an “oddball”, a “weird customer” and a “socially inadequate individual”, but told the jury it did not mean Worboys was guilty.
In his closing speech Mr Gold said: ”What have the prosecution got? They have got a lot of young women who had a very strange experience in the back of a taxi.
“It is not normal to be offered a drink by a taxi driver. The temptation for the jury is to say he is weird, he must have done it. Don’t fall into that trap.”
Mr Worboys, of Rotherhithe, south east London, has admitted carrying alcoholic drinks, large sums of money, cigarettes, drugs and condoms in his cab, but told the jury he was looking for company and not sex from his customers.
He denies 23 charges including administering a substance with intent, rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.
The trial at Croydon Crown Court continues.