Friday, 14 November 2008

Taxi driver jailed for raping teen

A Sydney taxi driver who turned off his surveillance camera before raping an intoxicated woman in the back seat of his cab has been sentenced to at least eight years in jail.

Bangladeshi student Md Kowsar Ali picked the 18-year-old woman up in his cab early on November 4 last year.

The woman had been drinking with friends in inner Sydney before hailing a cab to take her home to the southern suburbs.

Ali pulled the taxi over and got into the back seat at Beverly Park in Sydney's south, sexually assaulting and then raping her, before wiping her down with a T-shirt.

Semen recovered during a medical examination returned a match with Ali's DNA.

In September, a NSW District Court jury found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault for sexual intercourse without consent.

In handing down his sentence today, Judge Peter Berman said it was clear Ali had taken advantage of a vulnerable woman who was obviously drunk.

"To take advantage of that situation as a taxi driver is a very serious matter indeed, requiring a substantial component of general deterrence," Judge Berman said.

Neither the defendant, nor her friends who put her in the cab should feel responsible for what happened. They were entitled to assume she would get home, he added.

"[The defendant] and her friends cannot be blamed for the predatory behaviour of the offender," he said.

Ali has been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years and eight months.

With time served he will be eligible for parole in November 2015.

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