A private hire Uber driver who exposed himself to a passenger he picked up has been given a suspended sentence.
Nadeem Afzal, 51, of Chigwell, was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, on Thursday, 2 January at Kingston Crown Court.
A ten-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) was made, and Afzal was also put on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.
He pleaded guilty to one charge of exposure contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, at a hearing on 6 November 2019.
Sergeant Jonny Harris, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command, said: “Afzal preyed on this female passenger in his minicab and was extremely persistent in his sexual advances and behaviour, leaving the passenger feeling scared and vulnerable.
"The victim showed courage coming forward to police and reporting Afzal, who is now a registered sex offender and can no longer work as a cab driver.”
The victim, a woman aged in her early 20s, had been out in north London on the night of 31 October 2018. Early the next morning, she requested an Uber vehicle and Afzal arrived to pick her up.
About 20 minutes into the journey, Afzal exposed himself to the woman and asked her several times to touch him and perform a sex act, which she refused.
She made an audio recording of the conversation as she rejected his advances. After nearly two hours, the victim was dropped at a fast-food restaurant near her home in south London.
The journey should have taken 40 minutes. Once the victim was home, she called the police and an investigation was launched.
Afzal was quickly identified and subsequently charged on 19 August 2019 with one count of exposure.
He first appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 17 September 2019. Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, said: “Nobody should ever be subjected to this kind of revolting and predatory behaviour and we are pleased to hear that Afzal has been brought to justice for his actions.
“We applaud the bravery of the victim for coming forward. We expect the highest standards from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers, which is why Afzal is no longer a licensed driver. We take every report seriously so it can be investigated by the police.”
Anyone who has been a victim of crime is asked to contact 999 in an emergency. Victims can also report non-urgent crimes by call 101, tweeting @MetCC or online:https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting their website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously
Image credit: Metropolitan Police