Illegal cab driver jailed for rape

An illegal minicab driver was jailed for eight years today for raping a passenger.

Astor Murray, 49, was arrested six years after attacking the 22-year-old student when he was stopped by police for taxi touting.

His DNA was checked against unsolved crimes and matched to evidence in the rape in 2003, the Old Bailey heard.

Murray, of Edmonton, north London, was found guilty earlier this month of rape and indecent assault.

He was also jailed concurrently for three years for the indecent assault, and was ordered to remain on the sex offenders register for life.

Judge Ann Goddard told Murray: "I regard you as a predator. You saw a young woman and enticed her into your car by pretending to be a minicab driver."

The student had told the court she was out with friends when she was approached by Murray at a bus stop in central London.

She said: "I was approached by a man who said he was a minicab driver. He offered to take me home for £10."

But Murray pulled into an industrial estate in Shoreditch, locked the doors and raped her.

She said he locked the doors and she could not leave until he stopped at traffic lights and let her go.

In an impact statement, the woman said she was now afraid of going out alone and would take only black cabs.

She said: "I have not been able to have a relationship with a man since this happened."

The court heard Murray was convicted last October of touting.

He claimed the sex was consensual. He admitted working for two years as an illegal taxi tout.

Det Con Andy Beete said: "After all this time Murray thought he had got away with this awful crime, but after he posed as a taxi driver and got caught, officers matched his DNA to forensic evidence taken from the scene."

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