Friday, November 04, 2016
Taxi driver jailed for sex attack on passenger - who he later called to beg for mercy
Zaharul Hoque's victim told a court she feared for her life when the driver dragged her back into the cab after dropping her outside her home
A taxi driver has been jailed after launching a terrifying sex attack on his passenger, before
ringing her to beg for mercy.
Zaharul Hoque pulled the victim back into his cab and tried to make her perform a sex act.
But he later called to say sorry and urged her to “let me off this time”.
Hoque, of Castle Bromwich , was convicted of sexual assault last month,
reports the Birmingham Mail.
Now the 47-year-old, who had not told his family why he was on trial, has been jailed for three years and ordered to register as a
The victim previously told Warwick Crown Court she feared for her life when Hoque dragged her back into the cab after dropping her outside her home.
She said: “His hands were all over me.
“Next thing, he pushed me towards the taxi door, opened the door and I was inside.
“I was scared, I didn’t know whether he was going to rape me.
“I was thinking: ‘I don’t know if I’m going to end up in a ditch.’”
The victim escaped and called Atherstone Taxis, which employed Hoque, to report the attack.
The jury heard she then had the first of three calls from the driver, in which he pleaded: “I apologise. Do me a favour, don’t complain.
“I do apologise, I do apologise. Let me off this time.”
Her ordeal happened in April last year after Hoque collected her and a group of friends from a night out in Atherstone.
He later told police he had done nothing wrong and there had been just a hug and a kiss on the cheek when he dropped the victim off.
Zaharul Hoque was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court
Hoque claimed she was lying about the
and said he called her just once, to ask why she was making a complaint.
Giving evidence, Hoque continued to deny making more than one call and claimed the caller was not him.
After more than six hours, a jury convicted Hoque of sexual assault by a majority of ten to two.
Jurors cleared him of a second count of the same charge, involving an allegation he touched the victim’s leg.
Passing sentence, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told Hoque: “You took advantage of her being on her own.
“You dragged her back into your taxi, and she thought you were going to rape her.
“She recorded it, and we could hear the recording in court.
“Afterwards she immediately made a complaint to the taxi office.
“You pestered her with calls not to go ahead with the case, and she had to come to court to give evidence.
“You have done everything in your power to get out of the consequences, even lying to the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentence report by giving her a different account.”
The judge said young women getting into taxis alone were “vulnerable” and needed to trust the driver.
She added: “If taxi drivers behave to female customers in this way, they will be very badly affected.
“In her [impact] statement she said she feels depressed and gets flashbacks.
“It is a serious ordeal going through it again in court. She is a very courageous young woman.
“I have read references which say you are a hard-working and respectable individual, but she saw a completely different side of you.”
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