Taxi driver jailed for rape in cab

THE DRIVER of a black London cab who raped a 22-year-old Spanish student in his taxi was jailed for eight years yesterday.

As Frank Welton, 25, was led away there were shouts from the public gallery. Family and friends screamed abuse at the jury and shouted: 'None of you are English, you are all Spanish.' Welton's wife Tracey, who married him after he was charged, screamed: 'You've put an innocent man away.'

The jury of six men and six women took two and a half hours to find Welton guilty of raping the language student after she hailed his cab in Wigmore Street central London on 17 February.

Judge Henry Palmer, at Harrow Crown court, told Welton: 'You were in a position of trust. People who use London black taxi cabs are entitled to expect a safe ride and a safe journey and you abused that trust in a most dreadful way.

'This was a complete stranger who was a passenger in your taxi and you thought you were entitled to have sexual intercourse with her against her consent.'

The student's ordeal began when she hailed Welton's cab at 2.20am after leaving a party. Eight minutes into the journey Welton stopped the cab in a secluded spot and jumped into the back.

The woman told the court: 'I took the taxi and just wanted to go home. I thought it was a licensed taxi driver and everyone had suggested to always take a black cab because it's safe.

'I was terrified throughout the incident, I was too scared to do anything or fight back. At the end I thought he was going to kill me. I thought he was crazy.' The woman said she was sobbing throughout the rapes which happened as he took her to her West London home. 'I tried to open the door but I couldn't . . . I was so scared I was shaking,' she said.

Sally Bennett-Jenkins, for the prosecution, had earlier told the court that the woman had left the party hoping to see a black cab with its light on - a 'symbol of trust'. Miss Bennet-Jenkins said: 'After seven or eight minutes, she didn't know why, but he stopped. She thought something was unusual as she hadn't asked him to stop, but she thought he was going to make a telephone call. Welton jumped in the back and sat on the folding down seat in front of the terrified girl.' He then raped her. Afterwards he apologised.

'He said: 'What have I done, don't look at my face, I'm sorry I've never done this before in my life'.' The second time he stopped he was put off by a nearby dust cart moving off, but the third time he stopped she was raped again After the assaults Welton dropped her off near her home, her clothes dishevelled and her make up running down her face. She told her boyfriend of the attack. Miss Bennett-Jenkins said: 'She said she had been violated by a man in a cab. She could barely speak such was her distress.'

Welton, of Ferdinand Street, Camden, north London, who denied the charges, claimed the girl consented. He told the court that sex with passengers was a 'perk of the job'. Welton was jailed for eight years on each charge to be served concurrently.

After the hearing Det Sgt Stephen Lovelock, who headed the investigation, said women should not be scared of taking a black cab. 'It was an isolated incident and women should feel safe in black cabs.'

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas