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‘MONSTROUS’: Taxi driver paid off to allow man to sexually assault woman in cab jailed

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

Image credit: Greater Manchester Police

A man who paid off a taxi driver in order to sexually assault a teenager whilst she was in the back of his vehicle unconscious has been jailed for nine years.

Following the report, detectives immediately launched an investigation and found that Omed Mahmood, 39, had been in a club in Warrington in the early hours on Sunday 31 October last year. He later approached an 18-year-old woman and walked with her to a nearby taxi rank.

At approximately 5am, CCTV footage showed Mahmood pulling her towards a taxi as she tried to walk away. The taxi was driven by Jojo Joseph Thirunilam.

The taxi was initially bound for Liverpool, however once the victim had fallen asleep, Mahmood signalled to the driver to turn the vehicle round. He could be seen handing a number of bank notes to the driver before the taxi turned around and made towards Mahmood’s home address.

The journey lasted for an hour and during this time the victim was repeatedly sexually assaulted whilst unconscious. The taxi driver watched from the front and made licking gestures with his tongue. There was no previous association between Mahmood and Thirunilam before the incident and they were not known to one another.

The taxi arrived at Mahmood’s address shortly after 6am whereupon he forcefully pulled the victim from the vehicle. Once inside Mahmood’s flat, he sexually assaulted her whilst she was in and out of consciousness. Almost two hours later, the victim managed to leave the flat whilst Mahmood slept and was in an understandably distressed state in an unfamiliar area. Thankfully, she made it to a nearby shop and raised the alarm which is the moment when police were contacted.

Mahmood pleaded guilty to attempted rape and four counts of sexual assault in the taxi, and following a trial which ended on 3 March 2022, he was found guilty of attempted rape, sexual assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault in connection to the offences in his address. He was remanded and jailed today to nine years at Bolton Crown Court.

Thirunilam pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding Mahmood to commit the sexual offences earlier this year and was jailed today for 18 months at Bolton Crown Court. He has also been made to sign onto the Sexual Offender Register and his taxi licence was suspended by the council.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Devine, from GMP’s Wigan CID, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the victim and her family who have understandably been through a horrific time, especially during the trial where explicit details were heard.

“Detectives immediately launched an investigation and arrested Mahmood within 48 hours of the incident. They carefully pieced together hours off CCTV to understand the events of that night.

“Mahmood is a sexual predator and his monstrous actions that saw him prey on a vulnerable young woman are absolutely unspeakable. I’m glad he is behind bars and the streets are a safer place for women without him. Thirunilam could have helped the victim and prevented the sexual assaults from happening in his vehicle, but instead he chose to watch and encourage Mahmood despite not even knowing him.

“Violence against women and girls is one of GMP’s priorities and officers are working every day to make the region a safer place. We will use absolutely every power we have available to us to protect women from perpetrators like these two men.”


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