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‘TRAUMATIC’: Swindon man posing as taxi driver receives 13-year sentence for assault on woman

Image credit: Wiltshire Police

A Swindon court has handed down a 13-year prison sentence to a man who assaulted a woman after pretending to be a taxi driver.

Fareed Tariq, 43, was convicted following a distressing incident that took place in the early hours on 14 April 2023, when the victim, after spending time in Swindon town centre, attempted to book a taxi home.

Following a misunderstanding with the booked vehicle, she entered Tariq's car, mistaking it for her ride. Tariq then drove to a secluded area in Pinehurst where he committed the assault.

Tariq's trial concluded in February, leading to his sentencing at Swindon Crown Court today, 3 April. The court ruled that Tariq must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before being eligible for release, followed by an additional five years on licence. Furthermore, Tariq will be registered as a sex offender for life and is subjected to a lifelong restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the victim.

James Purcell, Major Crime Team Investigator, said: "This was a horrendous incident, where Tariq pretended to be a taxi driver and picked up a vulnerable woman after a night out. He took her to a quiet area and raped her before picking up her son from her friend's house.

"I'd like to thank the victim for her incredible bravery through reporting the incident and through what must have been a really difficult trial, reliving a traumatic experience. Without her continued assistance, the outcome would not have been possible.

"This is the second time that Tariq has been found guilty of raping a woman after a night out, after being jailed for six years in 2012. Today, a dangerous man has taken off the streets. He preyed on vulnerable women who just wanted to go home after a night out. I hope today's sentence will go some way to helping his victim get justice.

"We would encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to please report it, do not suffer alone. We understand it can be difficult. You might not be completely sure what happened or how to talk about it. Our trained officers and partner organisations are here to listen and work together to support you in any way we can. Importantly, your information could help us bring the offender to justice and make sure you, and other people in a similar situation, are kept safe."


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