Teenage man pretending to be a taxi driver jailed for rape with accomplice

A driver claiming to be a taxi driver who abducted and raped a drunk woman, was jailed yesterday along with a second accused man. Teenager, Abel Muntean, 19, picked up the woman who was looking for a taxi in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on New Year's Day when he was aged just 17.

He went on to abduct and rape the 20-year-old woman before taking her to a house where a second man, Raul Novac, 34, also sexually assaulted her.

The judge, Lord Uist, at Edinburgh High Court said: "This kind of violence against women cannot be tolerated in any civilised society. "Each of you should be in no doubt that in due course you will be sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment." The woman told the courts that she had gone out to celebrate New Year's Eve after  drinking at a work colleague’s house earlier. The woman admitted to being drunk by the time they headed out to go clubbing. Bouncers at a Kirkcaldy club asked her to leave, but refused to tell her friends of her departure. The 20-year-old said she had no phone credit, so planned to take a taxi home. The woman told the courts: "I can remember walking down the street a wee bit. I remember I was really drunk. "There was lots of taxis about. I thought one of them is bound to be able to take me. "Then I saw someone getting into a car that looked like a taxi. I opened the door and asked him if he was a taxi and he could take me home and he said 'yes'." According to the woman, the driver than produced a bottle of whiskey to offer her a drink. She blacked out after she took the drink saying: "I can't remember anything after that." The woman told the courts she woke up naked in a strange house, adding: "My body was in agony." 

Both men were found guilty with their sentences deferred for the preparation of backgrounds reports. Both men were remanded in custody and placed on the sex offenders' register. 

Detective Sergeant Calum Lawrie of Scotland Police said: "These two men preyed on a young, vulnerable woman who was simply looking to get home after celebrating the New Year. Instead she was duped into entering a vehicle she believed to be a taxi, taken to a property against her will and was subjected to a number of violent, horrific attacks. I commend her bravery in coming forward to report these assaults and her strength in going through these traumatic events again when the pair denied what they had done. I hope she can find some comfort in their convictions. "Muntean knowingly pretended to be a taxi driver and along with Novac carried out a calculated and brutal attack, and they will receive custodial sentences as a result. We will always do everything possible to thoroughly investigate any report of sexual assault or rape we receive, providing specialist support to the victim and working tirelessly to put those responsible before the courts." 

Image: Police Scotland

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