Daily Mail—A judge issued an alarming warning to minicab passengers yesterday that they cannot expect to travel in safety.
Jailing an asylum seeker for eight years for raping a secretary, Recorder Michael Sayers, QC, said those hiring a private taxi simply had no way of knowing the driver's background.
He called for compulsory licensing of all cab drivers after police checks on the firm where the rapist worked revealed that not one driver was being legally employed.
"It appears that nobody can travel in minicabs with any degree of assurance or safety, as demonstrated by the facts in this case," said the judge. . . .
Police figures show that 214 women were sexually assaulted in the capital last year after getting into illegal minicabs and 54 raped.
Razaq Assadullah, 31, who worked for Speedline Cars in Stratford, East London, was an asylum seeker who came to Britain from Afghanistan in 2000.
He was convicted last December of raping the 28-year-old secretary and was sentenced at the Old Bailey yesterday.
In a reference to the rapist's background, the judge told him: "You were certainly aware of the gravity of the crime of rape as it would be met by a sentence of death by stoning."
The woman got into the cab after a night out in a wine bar in Stratford last July.
After dropping off her best friend, Assadullah parked the car and turned off the engine before attacking the woman in the back seat. He stopped only when disturbed by two cyclists.
The Old Bailey heard that Assadullah, from Plaistow, East London, set himself up as a cab driver by buying a false driving licence for £200 and using a false name. Police checks revealed he was driving without insurance.
Further inquiries into the rapist's firm revealed that each of its 32 drivers was working illegally in some way - either through their immigration status or by claiming benefit while working. (Continue Reading.)
For more on the rape-wave in Great Britain, watch this video: