A mini-cab driver who sexually assaulted female passengers while they were sleeping, including cutting off one woman’s clothing and raping her in the back of his car, has been jailed for 12 years.

Jahir Hussain, 37, admitted charges of rape, sexual assault and battery after the attacks on three different women he picked up in his cab.

He picked up his first victim, a 23-year-old woman, near to Old Street as she tried to make her way home on October 21, 2016.

She fell asleep in the cab, and when she woke up she found Hussain in the back of the car with her having cut off her clothing. He then repeatedly attacked the victim before driving her home.

At around 2am on December 2, 2016, Hussain pretended to be the mini-cab a 31-year-old woman had ordered from Old Street.

The victim also fell asleep in the cab, and again woke up to find Hussain in the back with her. Her waking up appeared to stop him carrying out any further attacks, but Hussain then drove her to an abandoned industrial estate. She managed to escape from his car and Hussain fled the scene, abandoning his victim.

From that attack Hussain returned to Old Street and picked up a 29-year-old woman at around 4am. Again the victim woke up to find him in the back of the car with her and attacking her having cut her clothing off. He then drove her home.

Both the women in the December attacks were able to identify Hussain’s number plate, and he was arrested at his home on December 3, 2016 and charged the next day. Forensic evidence linked him to the October attack.

Hussain, of Morris Road, Poplar, was charged with two counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration in relation to his first victim.

He was also charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of false representation in relation to his second victim, and with sexual assault and battery with intent to commit a sexual offence for the third attack.

DC Samantha Dart said: “Hussain is a predator who exploited his employment as a mini-cab driver to seriously sexually assault vulnerable females. Women should be able to go out and enjoy themselves without fear of assault.

“We are grateful to all three women for having the courage to report these matters to police, and for their continued support throughout the investigations.

“The strength of evidence against Hussain was overwhelming which led to him entering guilty pleas and the sentence handed to him reflects the gravity of his offending.”

Acting detective inspector Steve Birchall said: “Hussain is a predatory sex offender who has taken advantage of his position by targeting vulnerable women he has picked up while acting as a mini-cab driver.

“Travelling home by mini-cab should be a safe method of transportation and Hussain is in now way reflective of the numerous taxi drivers who offer this service every night in London.

“He has been identified and now convicted through the presence of mind and strength of the three women in this case who have had the courage to report what happened to them to the police.”

Hussain was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, July 10, after pleading guilty to the charges against him on Monday, May 15.

He was also ordered to be on the Sex Offenders Register for life, and is banned from working or posing as a taxi, mini-cab or other driver or being alone in a private vehicle with a lone woman other than a family member unless she has been told about his conviction.

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