Illegal minicab driver jailed for Shadwell rape
An unlicensed minicab driver has been sentenced to nine years in prison after raping a female passenger in east London.
Ellie Feghaly, 44, of Ealing Park Lodge in Perivale, Middlesex, attacked the woman in his car in August last year.
The 33-year-old victim was visiting London on business and had been for a night out in Soho.
After leaving Leicester Square with a male companion they came across what they thought was a minicab driven by Feghaly.
As they were heading in the same direction they shared the cab.
After a while they became concerned the driver did not know where he was going. He then became aggressive towards them.
He pulled up at a Texaco petrol station in Shadwell and told the man to get out and ask for directions. As he did Feghaly drove off with the woman still inside.
He locked the doors and pulled up at a nearby car park where the attack took place.
The victim then managed to escape and sought help from a passer by. Her friend then came to her aid.
The next morning she reported the attack to police and, after being medically examined, DNA of the attacker was obtained.
A match was found on the national database with Feghaly and he was later arrested.
He pleaded innocent to the offence but a jury at Woolwich Crown Court found him guilty.
Detective Constable Peter Thompson from the MPS Sapphire Command based at Lewisham said: "The victim had trusted that she would get to her destination safely. However this sexual predator subjected her to this horrific attack despite her pleas for him to stop.
"I hope that the sentence handed down by the judge goes someway in helping the victim recover from this ordeal."
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Thomas of MPS Sapphire Command said he believes Feghaly could have raped a number of other people.
"Feghaly worked as an unlicensed cab driver to target vulnerable women," he said. "The victim has shown great courage throughout this ordeal and as a result Feghaly has been taken off the streets.
"It is possible there are other victims out there and I would urge them to come forward. I hope this will encourage those who have been victims to come forward and tell us what has happened to them."
Met Police also urged people not to use unlicensed minicabs or to approach a minicab in the street as they must be booked in advance.