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Uber driver jailed after ‘terrified’ teenage student subjected to nine-minute sexual assault journey

Image credit: West Midlands Police

An Uber driver working in Birmingham sexually assaulted a ‘terrified’ teenage student during a nine-minute minicab journey.

Deeq Mursal, 38, picked up the 19-year-old woman at 5.40am on 9 December 2018 who was on her way to work at a hotel. The woman wanted to travel in the back seats of the private hire vehicle (PHV) but Mursal told her to ride in the front.

Birmingham Crown Court heard the teenager thought nothing of it at the time and sat next to the defendant. The young woman was then molested by the father-of-three during a terrifying nine-minute journey.

Mursal was jailed for two years after previously being found guilty of sexual assault. He was also placed on the register as a sex offender for 10 years.

According to Birmingham Live, Judge Paul Farrer QC said in his comments when passing sentence that he believed the attack was premeditated from the moment he stopped to collect the victim. He said: "I have no doubt that even at this early stage you had decided you were going to assault her.

"You pulled away and almost immediately placed your hand on her inner leg and ran it up her inner thigh-to her groin, despite her repeated protests."

The judge said the defendant sexually assaulted her continuously during the nine-minute Uber journey and had also deliberately driven in the wrong direction.

The judge added: "As this was taking place it was dark and there were no other people and cars about and as the victim told the jury, no one knew where she was. In those circumstances she was understandably terrified.

"None the less she stood up to you and you eventually dropped her off but you did so a short distance away from the hotel, no doubt to evade being captured on CCTV. This was a sustained attack upon a young vulnerable woman who trusted you to transport her safely to her place of work."

Whilst referring to the victim impact statement the judge said: "As a result of your behaviour she has changed her behaviour and no longer uses taxis when she is alone. You targeted a loan woman in the early hours of the morning in circumstances in which she was effectively trapped in your taxi."

Simon Hanns, defending, said Mursal was of good character and had earlier in his life fled Somalia because of persecution. The defendant maintained his innocence throughout so was not credited with any remorse.


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