A fake taxi driver who sexually assaulted a woman on her way home from Chester has been jailed.
Nadeem Sultan, of Stamford Road, Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, appeared at Chester Crown Court today, Wednesday 24 July, where he was sentenced to two years in prison.
He was also handed a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
The 46-year-old had earlier been found guilty of sexual assault by touching following a three-day trial.
He had also pleaded guilty to touting a private hire vehicle and driving without insurance.
In the early hours of Sunday 23 December the victim, a 22-year-old woman, had been out in Chester with friends.
At around 3.30am she became separated from them and stopped to help a man claiming to be ill at the side of the road near Debenhams.
The victim decided that the best thing to do was to take him home. She then proceeded to flag down what she thought was a taxi on Eastgate Street.
Once they were in the car, a silver Renault Espace, the victim gave the driver the details of the required drop off points.
Unbeknown to her, the vehicle she had stopped was actually a private car being driven by Sultan, who did not have a licence to operate as a taxi driver and was not insured to drive the car.
A short distance into the journey it became clear that the man found near Debenhams was not actually ill but was using the victim to get a free taxi ride home.
As a result Sultan ordered the man to leave the car.
Alarmed and shocked by Sultan’s actions, the victim became visibly upset.
Alone with the victim, who was sat on the front passenger seat, Sultan plied her with a constant flow of compliments regarding her looks, telling her that she was perfect and that he ‘could never find a woman like her’.
He then put his hand on the victim’s leg, with his fingers on her inner thigh, and began to stroke her.
Frightened by his actions, and concerned that she was in an extremely vulnerable position, the victim immediately pushed Sultan’s hand away and asked him to stop.
A short time later, when the car was stationary, the victim managed to get out of the vehicle.
She fled into a wooded area, from where she called for support.
Neighbourhood Inspector Emma Parry, of Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “Sultan subjected his victim to a terrifying ordeal.
“She was alone, trapped in a vehicle with a man she had never met before who had targeted her to fulfil his own sexual gratification.
“The victim placed her trust in Sultan, believing that he was a genuine taxi driver. He totally abused this trust.
“Being inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted by a stranger is the stuff of nightmares and I cannot praise the victim enough for her bravery in reporting her ordeal to the police and giving evidence against Sultan in court.”
Police Constable William McMillan, Chester City Centre Beat Manager, added: “I would also like to pay tribute to the victim for the courage that she has shown throughout this investigation.
“Thanks to her bravery, and the hard work of officers here at Chester, Sultan is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions.
“I hope that the custodial sentence that Sultan has been handed will provide reassurance to the victim and deter others from committing similar offences.”
Insp Parry said: “We treat all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously and any such allegations will be thoroughly investigated, with the wishes and needs of the victim as our main priority.
“Victims should never feel ashamed to talk about what has happened to them.
“They will receive the help and support they need from our specialist officers, as well as from other support agencies we work alongside.”