A university student is warning others against using unregistered taxis in England after she fell victim to a predatory cab driver who sexually assaulted her.
Lily Wright, 22, from Birmingham has waived her right to anonymity to share her terrifying experience and to urge others not to take unlicensed cabs.
Lily and her friend Jamielee Smalldon, 21, had flagged down a taxi, driven by Mohammed Iqbal – a father of three – following a night out in Birmingham.
After dropping Jamielee at her house, Iqbal drove Lily to a secluded wooded area and sexually assaulted her, according to the U.K Daily Mail.
He then drove her home – after he ordered her to pay him £50 for the return fare. “It was disgusting and I was convinced he was going to kill me.” “After what he’d just done to me, I couldn’t believe he had the nerve to charge me,” she said, according to the Birmingham Mail.
Iqbal first pleaded not guilty to two separate sex attacks – one on Lily, and another on a second woman at another time. He later changed his plea to guilty.
“The next day police revealed the court had presented the evidence, and my attacker had changed his plea to guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnap,” said Wright.
“I believe women should trust taxi drivers, and take a taxi rather than walking home alone at night,” says Wright. “But they should book a registered taxi rather than waving one down in the street,” she said. “You’re putting your safety in their hands. And I learnt my lesson the hard way.”
They succeeded in bringing the case to court by having an acquaintance of a licensed Frankfurt taxi operator use the Uber app to summon an Uber Pop driver for a “test drive.”
Details of the driver were then passed to the German taxi drivers’ association, and a temporary injunction was to be served on him.
Under the terms of the injunction, the driver faces a €250,000 fine, or a six-month jail sentence, if he offers profit-making services through Uber Pop without a valid passenger transport licence.
In addition, the court ordered the Uber driver to pay costs of around €1,000, but gave him leave to appeal. A second case from a similar sting in Frankfurt is due to come before the courts shortly.
Last month, the Frankfurt Regional Court introduced a country-wide ban on Uber’s popular ride-sharing service, called Uber Pop. It was the first injunction obtained in the regulatory move against the San Francisco-based company on a national level.
However,Uber said it would continue to operate there, so German taxi drivers’ association took this action to bring this injunction against an Uber partner driver.