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17 year old fake taxi driver jailed for the abduction and rape of female passenger in Fife

5 Jul 2019

 

17-year-old Abel Muntean has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of raping an 18-year-old woman who he had picked up after posing as a taxi driver in Kirkcaldy, Fife. 

Muntean picked up his victim in the early hours of 1 January 2017, where he went on to abduct and rape her. 

The victim was then taken to a house where a friend of Mutean lay in wait. 

 

Accomplice, fellow Romanian, Raul Novac, subjected her to a further rape ordeal.

34-year-old Novac, who as well as Muntean, denied rape, was jailed for five years following a trial.

Novac was sentenced to a further two years and three months after fleeing justice when he returned to Romania having been released on bail. He also failed to appear in court at an earlier scheduled hearing.

As reported by the BBC, the father-of-three was eventually traced in Ireland and brought back to Scotland to face trial. 

Speaking directly to Muntean at court, Judge Lord Uist said: "You were convicted by the jury of shocking, predatory and outrageous criminal conduct consisting of the abduction and two rapes of the same 18-year-old woman who was unknown to you.

"You waited in your car outside a nightclub in Kirkcaldy in the early hours of New Year's Day 2017 as it was emptying, flashed your car lights to draw her attention to you, pretended to her that your vehicle was a taxi and that you were a taxi driver and so induced her to enter your car.

"You then abducted her in the car, drove to the Esplanade at Kirkcaldy, removed her dress and raped her...while she was intoxicated with alcohol and incapable of giving or withholding consent.

"You thereafter took her to the house of your co-accused and provided her to him so that he could rape her. In other words, you used her as an object for your own sexual gratification and that of your co-accused."

He went on to add that the victim has suffered "permanent mental and emotional effects" as a result of her ordeal.

"Your behaviour towards her, which was obviously premeditated, can be described only as unspeakably wicked and wholly callous," he told Muntean.

Muntean continuously denied the offences and it was pointed out in court by judge Uist that he had shown no remorse. 

 

Uist stressed that Muntean, from Glenrothes, posed a significant risk of further re-offending.


Lord Uist told Novac: "Your commission of this offence has been described as opportunistic, but you also have continued to deny your guilt and shown no remorse." 

 

Detective Sergeant Calum Lawrie from the DRIU said: “We welcome the sentencing of Muntean and Novac who took advantage of the woman and who subjected her to such horrific crimes. The woman believed she was being taken home following the New Year celebrations and instead was put through the most traumatic and frightening ordeal.

“I would like to thank and commend her for the courage she has shown through our investigation and the subsequent trial process. I hope that the verdict will offer some closure as she looks to move forward with her life.

“We treat all reports of sexual crime with the utmost seriousness and all reports will be thoroughly and robustly investigated. We remain committed to ensuring that the perpetrators of such crimes are brought before the courts and justice is sought for victims.” 

 

Image: Source; Police Scotland 

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