A man in France is standing trial after being accused of numerous sexual assaults on young women he had drugged.

The unnamed 52-year-old man was arrested in November 2014 after one of his eight victims ended up in hospital after suffering from a reaction to the drugs he had given her.

The drug cocktail, often mixed with chocolate, included tranquilisers and antidepressants.

Victims had unwittingly signed up to meet him as part of the car-sharing app, Bla Bla Car.

The app, which is used in more than a dozen countries around the world, connects drivers and their prospective passengers who are looking to travel to similar locations, and share the cost.

The man would regularly drive the 600km route between his Nantes home to visit family in the Calais region, which was when he would target his victims.

The Local reported that after handing them the chocolate, he would wait for them to pass out before sexually assaulting them.

When the women, all aged between 20 and 30, woke up, they would often be unsure as to what had happened and wonder why the journey had taken longer than expected.

It is thought that the man transported more than 50 women on his usual route over a period of nine months before he was eventually arrested.

Police believe there may be other victims who are yet to come forward, or are not aware of what happened, after the man admitted to the offences.

The man went on trial on Monday 11 December, accused of administering toxic substances and sexual assault. If found guilty, he faces up to seven years in prison.

His defence have claimed that he suffers from loneliness and that he has no social life.