Man kidnapped, raped and robbed woman after she mistook his car for her Uber

Mohammed Awais jailed for more than nine years after pleading guilty

Tom Embury-Dennis
Friday 11 January 2019 14:02 GMT
Man kidnapped, raped and robbed woman after she mistook his car for her Uber

A man who kidnapped, raped and robbed a woman after she got into his vehicle in the mistaken belief he was an Uber driver has been jailed.

Mohammed Awais, from East Ham, was sentenced to more than nine years in prison after pleading guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday.

The court heard how a 28-year-old woman had been out with friends in Dalston, east London, in the early hours of 20 October when she ordered a cab on the Uber app for a journey home.

A white Toyota Auris stopped at her location and the victim got in the back, believing it to be her cab and unaware her actual Uber taxi had been cancelled.

When she voiced suspicion Awais did not know where he was supposed to be going, he locked the doors and sped up.

The victim was driven to a dimly lit alleyway in East Ham where she was raped, before being robbed by Awais of her phone, cash and a laptop.

He ordered her out of the car and drove away.

The victim ran as far as she could and hid in the front garden of a house to make sure she was not being followed.

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She eventually alerted two members of the public, who called police.

Metropolitan Police officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command launched an investigation, and arrested Awais on 24 October after he was identified as the driver by another man detained as part of the probe.

Forensic evidence linked Awais to the crime and he was identified at an ID parade by a witness.

Detective superintendent Emma Matthews, who led the investigation, said: "Awais, who had never worked as an Uber driver, arrived at the location purely by chance and, spotting a lone female, acted as an imposter 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 has been extraordinarily brave throughout the entire process. I would like to thank her for supporting our investigation, and hope that eventually, and with our continued support, she will one day be able to leave this terrible incident behind her."

Tanyia Dogra, of the CPS, said: “Muhammed Awais lured a young woman into his car late at night by pretending to be her Uber driver. This was a terrifying ordeal for the woman involved.

“He inflicted upon the victim what might be considered any woman’s worst nightmare. He kidnapped her, and over a period of time he threatened to kill her, robbed her and raped her. The prosecution case relied on strong witness testimonies and CCTV evidence, which left Awais with little choice but to plead guilty to his crimes.

“I hope today’s sentence sends out a clear message to those who prey on vulnerable victims and encourages more victims to come forward and report sexual assaults.”

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