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Private hire driver jailed following sexual assault

News   •   Nov 12, 2019 15:15 GMT

[Jailed: Temur Shah]

A private hire vehicle driver who sexually assaulted a female passenger when she was in an extremely vulnerable condition has been sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment after an investigation by the Met’s Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team. 

Temur Shah, 45, (06.02.74) of Park Crescent, Harrow, was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, 14 October after a one-week trial.

He was sentenced on Tuesday, 12 November at the same court. He was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and is indefinitely prohibited from applying to be a licensed Private Hire driver or Taxi driver with any authority within England and Wales and acting as a licensed Private Hire or Taxi driver within England and Wales. 

He has also been registered on the Sex Offenders register for 10 years.

The conviction and sentencing follows 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. 

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 mini-cab 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 also 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 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 Saturday, 19 January and convicted as above.

Acting Police Sergeant Jonny Harris, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Today’s sentencing reflects the seriousness of Shah’s offending. There were a number of aggravating factors considered in this sentencing. The most prominent being that this young woman put her trust in Shah to get her home safely. Shah abused that trust and sexually assaulted her at a time when she was alone and extremely vulnerable. 

“This conviction would not have been possible without this young woman coming forward to the police. She showed extreme courage and composure when giving her evidence and I have nothing but praise for her and the other witnesses who attended court.”

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 sentenced. 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 received a 16 month prison sentence but immediate licensing action was taken to prevent him from continuing in his role as a TfL licensed private hire driver.”

For information about Taxi and Private Hire journey-related sexual offences, please visit:
https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/safety-and-security/security-on-the-network/tph-related-sexual-offences

Advice for when using mini-cabs: 

- A mini-cab will have a licence displayed in the window (and the driver must be wearing a photo ID card) and it needs to be booked in advance with a licensed minicab firm. 

- It is a requirement that all private hire operators have to give a booking confirmation – which could be by text message, app, email or if you’re in a mini-cab office, paper receipt. The booking confirmation includes details of the licensed private hire driver and vehicle that has been booked for you. Check before you get in. If the driver or car picking you up aren’t the same as in your booking confirmation, don’t get in the car – it isn’t safe.

- You should never take a mini-cab offered by a bouncer or someone in a high visibility jacket with a clipboard outside a venue.

- A person that approaches you directly on the street asking if you want a mini-cab is acting illegally.

- If you approach what you believe to be a mini-cab directly, this is also illegal and only the driver knows where you're going, which isn't safe.

- If any of the above takes place your mini-cab isn't booked and therefore it is illegal and not safe.