Jailed minicab monster

Jailed ‘minicab monster’ may have attacked women for 13 years
Paul Cheston, Courts Correspondent

A serial sex attacker who posed as a cab driver to assault a woman passenger has been jailed indefinitely amid police fears he may have struck repeatedly inLondon over the past 13 years.

Alfred Apicella, 55, dubbed the “minicab monster”, took a 24-year-old to a side street where he offered to waive the fare in return for sex before assaulting her, Kingston crown courtheard.

Apicella, from Mitcham, was jailed in 1986 for three rape attacks after working as an unlicensed cab driver during the winter and an ice cream seller during the summer.

He picked up his latest victim at Tooting Broadway in November last year shortly after 3am and took her on a 20-minute terror ride. He told her he would take her home free if she gave him a “kiss and a cuddle”.

When she refused he assaulted her. Apicella was found guilty of two sex assaults and one charge of assault by penetration.

In October 1983 he picked up two women in their early twenties in his cab. After taking them on a round-about route he stopped in a darkened alleyand raped the women at gunpoint. A week later he assaulted a third victim he had picked up in his cab.

After he was jailed in 1986, Apicella served nine years of his 15-year sentence and returned to driving the streets of Tooting andWimbledon for more than a decade before he was arrested again.

Heather Norton, prosecuting, said of Apicella’s latest victim: “She states that she is in constant fear since the assault, experiences a lot of anxiety, that she has had panic attacks and is still undergoing therapy as a result of the matters which occurred to her.”

Speaking after Apicella was jailed last week, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell appealed for any more women who believe they may have been assaulted by the rapist to come forward. He also warned women against taking unlicensed cabs. As the judge, Mr Recorder Michael Hunter, branded Apicella a “significant risk” last week the rapist said: “Just sentence me and be done with it. I don’t give a s**t.”

Apicella, who can be considered for release in one year and 158 days, has a sexual prevention order for life, banning him from driving in a vehicle with female passengers or applying to drive a minicab.

He must sign the sex offenders’ register, is forbidden from working with under-18s and is on an indefinite curfew between 10pm and 6am.

Posted by Steve.

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