Mohammed Awais has been handed a short jail term after a “disgusting” attack in which he kidnapped, raped, and robbed a young woman who mistook him for an Uber driver.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how the 28-year-old dragged his victim down a dark alleyway in Newham, east London, where he raped the woman before stealing all her possessions, after he posed as the driver of a cab she had ordered.
Awais “acted as an impostor” in order to get the woman, who had spent the evening out with friends, into his car at around half past midnight on October 20 last year.
When she voiced suspicions over whether he was really the Uber driver she ordered after noticing he seemed to have little clue over where he was supposed to be headed, the East Ham resident locked his car doors and accelerated, the court was told.
It heard how, after raping his victim, Awais stole most of her possessions including cash, her phone, and a laptop before driving away, at which point the woman hid in a local’s front garden and then sounded the alarm about the attack to passers-by, who alerted police to the situation.
Awais was given a prison sentence of nine years and four months, of which he will likely spend less than five years behind bars as Britain typically releases criminals on licence automatically once half their sentence has been served.
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The East Ham resident pleaded guilty to rape, assault by penetration, kidnap, robbery, and driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance, according to the Newham Recorder newspaper.
DS Emma Matthews, who led the investigation. said: “It was established the legitimate Uber vehicle the victim had booked had been cancelled without her realising.
“Awais, who had never worked as an Uber driver, arrived at the location purely by chance and, spotting a lone female, acted as an impostor to get her into his vehicle before carrying out his despicable attack.
“His disgusting behaviour is beyond comprehension. He left the victim in fear of her life,” she added.
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