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Brighton’s fake taxi driver: Convicted and awaiting sentence for sexual crimes

A Pevensey resident, who deceitfully presented himself as a taxi driver and consequently attempted to sexually assault two women, has been pronounced guilty at the Hove Crown Court on Friday (2 June).

The police initiated an investigation into an attempted rape case reported in Brighton in August 2022. A second incident was reported in November 2022, where a woman claimed she was sexually violated in a vehicle, which she initially believed to be a taxi. The detectives soon correlated the two cases.

The first report dated back to 19 August when a late-teen woman was forcibly dragged into Hove Park’s bushes. The assailant, who gave her a ride from Brighton to Hove Park, attempted to rape her but retreated when the victim’s phone rang.

The perpetrator was identified as a short man, aged between 40-50, wearing a face mask. Specialist officers supported the victim while the investigation ensued. CCTV footage obtained showed the victim near a silver Mercedes estate. The vehicle was subsequently traced through city centre CCTV and doorbell footage navigating slowly near Hove Park.

A subsequent report on 18 November from a woman in her twenties detailed a similar incident. She woke up in a vehicle, which she thought was a taxi, with a man sexually assaulting her. She managed to escape, notified the police, and remembered three digits of the car’s registration plate.

66-year-old Graham Head

Police officers promptly located the vehicle – a silver Mercedes estate – and pursued it to Preston Circus, where it was halted. The driver was identified as 66-year-old Graham Head, a short man wearing a face mask. Disturbing items such as latex gloves, condoms, Viagra tablets, and a balaclava were discovered inside the vehicle.

A mobile phone belonging to the victim was later found discarded along the route taken by Head during the chase in Chatham Place, Brighton.

Head, a resident of Coast Road in Pevensey, was arrested under suspicion of kidnap, attempted rape, and failure to stop a vehicle when directed. Further investigation linked his vehicle to the August incident, leading to his subsequent arrest for the prior offences.

Following his arrest, Head was charged with kidnap, attempted rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault, and remanded in custody.

After being declared guilty of kidnap, attempted rape, and assault by penetration at the Hove Crown Court, Head is awaiting his sentence in custody.

Detective Constable Elliott Lander, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, praised the victims for their quick-thinking and bravery that led to Head’s capture and justice served. Lander expressed concern that there may be additional victims who have not come forward. He urged those victims or anyone with information to contact the police immediately.

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