A private hire driver who sexually assaulted three female passengers has been sentenced yesterday at Wood Green Crown Court.
Hire Mire, 51 years old from Harrow, received two years' imprisonment to run concurrently. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and received a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which prevents him being in the same vehicle as other females he doesn’t know.
The driver can also not apply or act to be a licensed Private Hire driver or Taxi driver with any authority within England and Wales.
Mire was found guilty on Friday 9 November 2018, at Wood Green Crown Court of three offences of sexual assault by touching.
The first offence took place on 22 September 2017 in the Buckinghamshire area. Over the following two days he committed a further two offences in Surrey and Hackney.
Following a separate trial he was convicted on 9 April 2018 at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court of two offences of section 4a Public Order. These two offences involved speaking to lone female passengers in a sexual manner, making them feel intimidated and vulnerable.
The first of these incidents took place on 22 May 2017 in Camden; the second on 22 September 2017 in the Buckinghamshire area.
Police were informed by Transport for London in October 2017 that Mire had been responsible for the assault on 24 September in Hackney. The female had made a complaint to the private hire company who in turn informed TfL. An investigation was launched by officers from the Met's Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team.
In each of the incidents Mire targeted lone females. He would either sexually touch them or make sexual remarks of a graphic nature. In one case, after trying to grab the victim's hand and speaking to her in a suggestive manner he made 21 attempts to contact her via her mobile phone after she gave into his demands that she hand over her phone number.
Mire was arrested on 26 October 2017 for the sexual assaults and public order offences. On 23 February 2018 he was charged with three sexual assaults and was summonsed to court for the public order offences.
Sergeant Jonny Harris, Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team, said: "Mire has received a very strong sentence for his despicable offending. This investigation involved five young women having to attend court to give evidence. All showed extreme courage in doing so and I have nothing but praise for them for coming forward. I hope this sentence gives members of the public the confidence to report these type of offences and a clear message that this offences will not be tolerated."
Siwan Hayward, TfL's Director of Compliance and Policing, said: "I commend the passengers for coming forward and reporting the series of predatory incidents, and working with the Police to secure this conviction. We take all allegations against licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers extremely seriously and as soon as we were made us aware of this offence we suspended this driver's licence immediately. We want the highest safety standards for all customers and work closely with the police to prevent crime, fully investigate all allegations, and bring offenders to justice."