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A ‘sexual predator’ who pretended to be a mini-cab driver and sexually assaulted a female passenger was jailed at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 13 October.

 

Ahmed Abdirahman Yusuf, 31, (24.11.84) of Woodside Road, Haringey N22 was sentenced having been found guilty of one count of sexual assault on 7 October.

 

He was sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years imprisonment. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period and is subject to a sexual offences prevention order for an indefinite period.

 

The conviction follows a successful investigation by the Met’s Cabs Enforcement Unit – part of the Roads and Transport Policing Command.

 

Yusuf committed his offence on 4 February. He pretended to be a mini-cab driver using his own personal car. He had previously worked as a minicab driver but was, at the time of the offence, operating illegally as a tout.

 

He picked up his victims in Soho offering them a cheap fare their homes in to Battersea. Instead he drove them in the opposite direction towards his home in Wood Green, north London.

 

On the journey Yusuf started to make sexual remarks of a threatening nature to the girl sat next to him in the passenger seat. He then pulled her close to him and forcefully kissed her. He then proceeded to inappropriately touch her.

 

Yusuf only let his victim out of his car after she acquiesced to his demand that she give him her phone number. Which she did feeling she had no choice. The next day Yusuf harassed the girl by calling her phone 10 times.

 

The victim reported her ordeal to police.

 

Officers soon identified Yusuf from both his mobile number and his vehicle captured on CCTV and was arrested on 5 February.

 

A search of his address recovered his mobile phone which provided vital evidence during the trial showing his numerous calls to his victims.

 

Yusuf was bailed and subsequently charged the following March.

 

Detective Superintendent Adnan Qureshi, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said:

 

“This is a robust sentence that reflects the seriousness of the offence. Yusuf is a dangerous, sexual predator and has received a lengthy jail sentence and entry onto the sex offenders register for the rest of his life. I have nothing but praise for the victim for having the courage to come forward and report this crime.

 

“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.”

 

Steve Burton, Transport for London Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, said:

 

“We are pleased this sexual predator has been caught and imprisoned for this crime. I commend the bravery of this young woman for coming forward and reporting her experience to police.

 

“Yusuf deceived the young women by purporting to be a minicab driver. We are working closely with the police to crack down on illegal unbooked minicabs which, as this case sadly illustrates, pose a significant danger to the travelling public. Minicab drivers who pick up passengers off the street which have not been booked with a minicab company (either over the phone, via an app, online or in person at a minicab office) are acting illegally and are unsafe.”

 

Advice for when using minicabs:

 

– A minicab that has a licence or sticker in the window (or a driver who has a badge) and needs to be booked in advance with a licensed minicab firm;

 

– You should never take a minicab offered by a bouncer or someone in a high visibility jacket with a clipboard outside a venue;

 

– A minicab driver that approaches you directly on the street is acting illegally;

 

– If you approach a minicab directly, only the driver knows where you’re going, which isn’t safe;

 

– If any of the above takes place your minicab isn’t booked and therefore is not safe and illegal.

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