An Uber driver who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an “utterly defenceless” woman as she was sick out of his car door has been sentenced to 16 months in jail.
Temur Shah, 45, was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, 14 October after a one-week trial. He has since been bailed ahead of sentencing at the same court today.
The conviction followed a successful investigation by the Met's Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team - part of the Roads and Transport Policing Command which is part-funded by Transport for London.
During sentencing today at court, Judge Nicholas Wood told Shah: “You had a young woman in your trust, in your cab, late at night. She was utterly defenceless as she turned away from you facing the gutter.”
Shah, who worked for Uber, committed his offence in the early hours of 15 January, 2018. He picked up a 27-year-old woman, who was feeling unwell, from an address in the West End.
During the journey, Shah stopped the vehicle and insisted she sat in the front. After driving for a bit longer, the passenger said she was going to be sick. Shah stopped the cab and leaned over her to open the front passenger door. While doing this he sexually touched her. He continued to sexually assault her even as she leant out of the vehicle being sick.
The passenger stayed in the minicab after the assault as she had no battery left on her phone and could not call for assistance. She also did not have any money. She told Shah not to touch her again.
Afterwards, Shah dropped the passenger off near her home in north London and the matter was reported to the police. The Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team then carried out a thorough investigation, conducting enquiries with Uber and the person who booked the private hire vehicle on the victim’s behalf. They also collected an extensive amount of CCTV and viewed GPS data from Uber.
Evidence pointed towards Shah as the driver - he was arrested for sexual assault on 2 February 2018 and was released under investigation.
He was charged with sexual assault on 19 January 2019 and convicted as above.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Shah despicably took advantage of his position as a trusted licensed driver and sexually assaulted a passenger in a vulnerable state. His conviction was down to a meticulous investigation which left the jury in no doubt as to his guilt.
“If you ever experience unwanted sexual behaviour, report it to the police. You will always be taken seriously and the incident will be fully investigated.”
Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, said: “This attack on a vulnerable passenger was predatory and disgusting, and we are pleased to see that Shah has been convicted. I would like to thank the young woman for coming forward and reporting this so TfL and the police could investigate and take action against the driver. We expect the highest standards from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers. Not only has Shah been convicted but immediate licensing action was taken to prevent him from continuing in his role as a TfL licensed private hire driver.”