Serial sex offender dubbed 'Night Bus Beast' terrified women following police blunders and could now walk free

10 February 2023, 12:02 | Updated: 10 February 2023, 12:22

Targeting lone female passengers over a 23-year period in London, Reid's conviction exposed a series of failings by the Metropolitan Police.
Targeting lone female passengers over a 23-year period in London, Reid's conviction exposed a series of failings by the Metropolitan Police. Picture: LBC / Alamy / Met

By Danielle DeWolfe

A serial sex offender dubbed the 'Night Bus Beast' who continued to walk the streets following multiple police failings could soon be released from prison following an upcoming parole hearing.

Terrorising women as part of campaign of terror, Kirk Reid, now 58, was convicted of 26 indecent assaults and two rapes in 2009.

Targeting lone female passengers over a 23-year period in London, Reid's conviction exposed a series of failings by the Metropolitan Police.

Likened to the case of 'Black Cab Rapist' John Worboys in terms of the prolific nature of his offending, police failings saw him remain at large despite multiple arrest opportunities.

Now, the serial offender, who was given a life term and ordered to serve a minimum of seven-and-a-half years behind bars, has been transferred to an open prison following an earlier parole hearing.

It's a move that often precedes an offender being released on license.

Reid was sentenced to a life term and ordered to serve a minimum of seven-and-a-half years behind bars.
Reid was sentenced to a life term and ordered to serve a minimum of seven-and-a-half years behind bars. Picture: Alamy

The lowest category jail, open prisons allow for minimal security measures and the opportunity for visitors to work outside of the prison's walls.

According to the Daily Mail, Reid's new parole hearing is scheduled to take place in May 2023.

At the time of his conviction, Reid was described as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character by Judge Shani Barnes who was overseeing the case at Kingston Crown Court.

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Despite being convicted of the 28 counts, the total number of victims is believed to be closer to 100.

It was revealed that Reid, who was a chef at the time, was identified as a suspect following a series of sex attacks in 2004, a name that was flagged to police at least 12 times without any further enquiries being launched.

Following the conviction, assistant Met commissioner John Yates conceded that multiple errors had been made in the handling of the case.

Targeting lone female passengers over a 23-year period in London, Reid's conviction exposed a series of failings by the Metropolitan Police.
Targeting lone female passengers over a 23-year period in London, Reid's conviction exposed a series of failings by the Metropolitan Police. Picture: Alamy

'Nothing can adequately excuse the failure to follow up straightforward lines of inquiry that should have seen Reid arrested at that time,' Yates wrote retrospectively in the Guardian in March 2009.

It was revealed that Reid, who was a chef at the time, was identified as a suspect following a series of sex attacks in 2004, a name flagged to police at least 12 times without further enquiries being launched.

Reid, also an amateur referee of women's football matches, targeting women walking alone or travelling on public transport.

He was only by change that Reid was brought to justice in January 2008 when the case was handed to a senior detective from the homicide and serious crime command unit who linked him using DNA.

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