A man claimed to be an Uber driver when he picked up two women in Brighton on separate occasions and then sexually assaulted them.
Graham Head, 66, denied kidnap and trying to rape one of the women and attacking the other in August and November last year.
He dragged one woman from his car into Hove Park during a terrifying sex attack last summer as she tried to fight him off. She reached a friend on her phone and said that she was being raped.
Head was also convicted of assaulting the other women on the back seat of his car before she kicked him “really hard in the crotch” and fled.
Head said that the first woman never got into his car and, while he accepted giving the second woman a lift, he said that he never touched her.
A jury of four men and eight women at Hove Crown Court unanimously found him guilty of kidnap, attempted rape and sexual assault after a trial that started on Tuesday 16 May.
José Olivares-Chandler, prosecuting, told the court that Head, who sometimes called himself Gary, was a predatory sober man who targeted vulnerable younger women who were by themselves after they had been drinking.
Mr Olivares-Chandler said that Head wore a covid mask and dark latex gloves and had Viagra and condoms on him when he was caught – as well as “N-Uber” business cards.
When police searched Head’s home, in Coast Road, Pevensey Bay, they found an incapacitating spray and an extendable baton.
The jury heard evidence that the personalised number plate on Head’s grey Mercedes car was filmed by a number of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and other security cameras.
And mobile phone mast data located both women, whose identities are protected by law, in the same area as Head’s car.
Mr Olivares-Chandler told the court that Head had put his phone in flight or airplane mode to try to avoid detection.
Head had also targeted other women who were the worse for wear, the prosecutor said, and “through beer goggles he may seem like a good Samaritan”.
But, he said, “viewed in the cold sober light of day he may appear less than charitable”.
The jury was sent out yesterday afternoon (Thursday 1 June) and returned its unanimous verdicts just before 1pm today.
Head was remanded in custody, shouting that he was innocent, to allow for an assessment of dangerousness. He is due to be sentenced on Monday 24 July.
Detective Constable Elliott Lander, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “Graham Head is a predatory offender who gained the trust of these victims by posing as a taxi driver, only to take advantage of vulnerable women in the most abhorrent ways.
“The items found in his car show the callous, pre-meditated nature of his crimes as he moved through Brighton and Hove looking for potential victims.
“Thanks to the quick-thinking and bravery of these two women, we were quickly able to connect Head to both incidents and bring him to justice. I would like to thank them both for their support during this investigation.
“Without them, this dangerous individual could still be at large. Instead, he has been brought to justice and the streets of Brighton and Hove are safer as a result.
“We believe Head may have further victims who have not yet come forward. If you believe you may have been a victim, or have any information which could help, please contact police online or via 101, quoting Operation Cooper. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”