A Telford private hire driver who worked for local cab firm Go Carz has been jailed for 19 months for the abduction and sexual assault of a female passenger. 28-year-old Raja Ahmed, forced his victim into another car after picking her up following a night out, and groped her breast.
Father of two, Ahmed, 28, was called to pick up the woman from the Three Furnaces in Madeley, Telford, on New Year's Eve 2018. The court heard how he drove his victim to an industrial estate and forced her into another car.
He then drove her in the opposite direction of her home, down the M54. Ahmed put his hand down her top and grabbed her breast. Terrified and desperate for help, she managed to text her father and best friend.
She informed them that she suspected he was taking her to Birmingham. As reported in the Shropshire Star, prosecutor Ian Ball said: "It was around about 12.30am. She approached his car. She had not pre-booked but he agreed to take her home. He started driving in the opposite direction to her home address. He drove onto an industrial estate and asked her to get out of the car and into a black Jaguar. "She was fearful. He went onto the M54 and started heading towards Wolverhampton. He groped her right breast and she became frightened and upset. "She was in tears. She texted her friend to say 'please help me' and 'I don't know where I am'. "She told him her grandmother was ill, and for some reason that made him stop, change direction and take her home." The court heard how since the assault, the victim has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
She has been prescribed anti-depressants and still fears Ahmed because he knows where she lives. Ahmed, of Arleston, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.
His private hire drivers licence was revoked with immediate effect. Peter Hemming, defending Ahmed, said: "He is a married man with two children, and I can't imagine the upset these proceedings will have had on their family life." Speaking directly to Ahmed, Judge Anthony Lowe said: "The fact you are a married man makes it more worrying. It shows a cavalier attitude towards sexual activities and women. "There was an element of abduction. When anybody gets in a taxi, they are trusting the driver to take them home. The driver should look after them without taking advantage. She must have felt terrified." Ahmed was handed a sexual harm prevention order which lasts for five years.
Judge Lowe also ordered him to sign the sex offenders register for the next 10 years and told him not to contact his victim.
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