A predatory man who pretended to be a taxi driver to lure an intoxicated teen into his vehicle before sexually assaulting her, has been jailed.
Ricardas Mikuckis denied assaulting the then-18-year-old, after he agreed to take her home to Barry in the early hours of August 29, 2019, but was convicted by a jury at Cardiff Crown Court.
The court heard CCTV had captured the 33-year-old from Newport loitering in his red Ford Kuga on Greyfriars Road in Cardiff city centre when the young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, left a club looking for a taxi.
After watching her talk to a taxi driver, who lent her his phone to try and call someone to provide the fare home before she walked off, Mikuckis took his opportunity and pulled his car up alongside the victim.
Believing him to be a licensed taxi driver, the victim got in to the vehicle.
She became alarmed when they neared Barry but the driver took an unexpected turn off the A4231 Barry Docks Link Road into a secluded lane.
Despite the victim telling him he was going the wrong way, Mikuckis stopped his vehicle before calmly getting out, locking the doors and smoking a cigarette.
He then returned and sexually assaulted the victim, kissing and touching her, before she managed to fight him off and flee the scene.
The visibly distressed woman flagged down a passing vehicle and told the driver she had been attacked.
The alarm was raised and following painstaking trawls of CCTV and using ANPR technology, Mikuckis was traced and arrested. A cigarette butt found at the scene also contained his DNA.
Mikuckis denied sexual assault but was found guilty on 11 March. He has since been sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment.
Following the case, Sergeant Mark Wonnacott, officer in the case, said: “Having viewed the CCTV and interviewed the distraught victim in this case, I have no doubt that Ricardas Mikuckis is a calculated and predatory individual who went out that night looking for a vulnerable woman to prey upon.
“The CCTV is chilling, and what happened to the young victim in this case is every woman’s worst nightmare. Her courage in fighting him off that night, and in supporting this prosecution throughout to ensure this dangerous individual is jailed, is commendable.
“This has had a devastating impact on her, shattering her confidence and her trust in others, and I only hope that today’s sentencing provides her with some closure and enables her to begin rebuilding her life.
“I also hope it provides other victims of sexual assault, who may be reluctant to come forward, with the confidence to do so. We have specially trained officers and work with a wide range of support services to ensure victims are fully supported.”