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Leicester man jailed for 15 years after posing as taxi driver in rape case

Updated: Mar 21

Image credit: Leicestershire Police

A man was convicted of raping a young woman after falsely representing himself as a taxi driver in Leicester.

In a Leicester Crown Court ruling, 38-year-old Zaheer Shah, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison following a crime that shocked the local community.

The court heard how Shah preyed on his victim, a woman in her late teens, by driving around Leicester city centre for several hours on 4 March 2023, before approaching her on Wellington Street. Under the guise of offering a taxi service, he lured her into his car, subsequently driving to a secluded area to commit the rape.

Displaying remarkable courage, the victim managed to escape Shah's car and, shortly after 5am, found police officers on Halford Street to whom she reported the attack. Crucially, the victim's friends used a tracing app to locate her phone, still in Shah's vehicle, leading authorities directly to his residence.

Shah's arrest and the subsequent police investigation, bolstered by detailed CCTV analysis, culminated in a trial where he was found guilty of rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. His Honour Judge Ebraham Mooncey noted the premeditated nature of Shah's actions, highlighting the violence and degradation inflicted upon the victim.

The detective constable involved in the case commended the victim for her "pure bravery", underscoring the significant emotional and physical challenges she overcame in the aftermath of the attack.

He was found not guilty of a charge of non-fatal strangulation.

Officer in the case Detective Constable Sarah Le Boutillier, from the force’s Signal team, said: “This was a horrific case of a lone female being targeted by a predator who was determined to engage in sexual activity that night.

“Shah’s actions were calculated, and once he returned home after the offence, he sought to hide the evidence of his actions.

“However, the strength, courage and pure bravery shown by the victim both initially to seek help in the immediate timeframe following the ordeal, and throughout this investigation is highly commendable and she should be very proud of herself for this. I hope this sentence brings her some comfort as she continues to now move forward in her life.

“If you are a victim of a sexual offence, please do speak to someone you trust. Please know that if you report to us, we have specially trained officers who will provide full support to you throughout."


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