The woman, aged 26 and the mother of a child, was imprisoned for 16 hours in a first-floor flat in Honor Oak, south-east London, after being picked up from a pub near by at lunchtime. She was kept prisoner overnight and badly battered. She needed hospital treatment for a suspected broken jaw.
Acting Detective Inspector Alan Brooks, leading the inquiry, said the woman's captor pulled up outside the Goldon Dragon at 1pm last Tuesday in a white four-door hatchback fitted with a minicab radio aerial.
DI Brooks said: 'I am pretty sure he listened in on the airwaves. He drove to where she was and said he was a cab driver . . . . There are drivers who listen to the airwaves and go along and nick fares.' The woman asked to go to Peckham but was driven to a the flat near Honor Oak Park railway station and dragged inside. DI Brooks said: 'She had not tried to escape. I think she was paralysed by fear.'
Police are trying to find the flat where the attack took place. The attacker was white, 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall, plump or stocky, with dark or cropped hair. He was clean-shaven and wore a green T-shirt and baggy blue jeans. Officers believe he may work as a driver.
After the attack he gave the victim a T-shirt to cover her torn clothes. The white shirt, in an extra-large size, carried the luminous orange, yellow and blue words 'The Dude' and the picture of a cartoon character in training or beach clothes and holding a Union Jack surfboard.
Women are being warned to be vigilant, always to use reputable taxi firms and to check that the driver is from the firm they have called. The police said there had been no publicity until yesterday because of fears that it would hamper inquiries.Reuse content