Bogus taxi driver found guilty of kidnap and attempted rape in Brighton

Graham Head, 66, was found guilty of kidnap, attempted rape and assault by penetration at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (25 May). Credit: Sussex Police

A man who pretended to be a taxi driver in Brighton and sexually assaulted women has been found guilty.

Graham Head, 66, was found guilty of kidnap, attempted rape and assault by penetration at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (25 May).

The first incident was reported by a woman in her late teens on 19 August 2022.

She was dragged into bushes in Hove Park by a man in the early hours of the morning. She had earlier received a lift from him from Brighton to Hove Park.

Sussex Police said he attempted to rape her but fled the scene when the victim’s mobile phone rang.

She was supported by specialist officers while an investigation was launched.

Footage showed the victim approaching a silver Mercedes estate, which was then tracked through city centre CCTV and doorbell footage driving slowly along the road near Hove Park.

  • CCTV footage shows the Head driving a silver Mercedes through the city centre.

In November, a woman in her 20s reported waking up in a vehicle to find a man sexually assaulting her. She had earlier got into what she thought was a taxi taking her from Brighton to Hove.

She managed to escape, called police at around 3.10am and was able to remember three digits of the car’s registration plate.

Officers found the silver Mercedes estate within minutes and stopped it in Preston Circus following a short pursuit.

Police found latex gloves, condoms, Viagra tablets and a balaclava inside the vehicle being driven by Graham Head.

A mobile phone belonging to the victim was also discovered discarded by the roadside in Chatham Place in Brighton, along the route taken by Head during the police chase.

  • Police body-cam footage shows the moment Head was arrested.

This video contains flashing images

Head was arrested on suspicion of kidnap, attempted rape and failing to stop a vehicle when asked to do so.

Investigators linked his vehicle to the August attack and the next day he was further arrested for those offences.

He was subsequently charged with kidnap, attempted rape, assault by penetration, sexual assault and remanded in custody.

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.”

Head has been remanded in custody pending sentence.