Mohamed Rashad Abdul Raheem

Posted: July 3, 2017 by Serendipity in Western Australia
Tags: , , ,

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-24/taxi-driver-jailed-for-sexual-assault-of-sleeping-passenger/8301522

Perth taxi driver jailed for sexually assaulting sleeping passenger

By Joanna Menagh

Posted 24 Feb 2017, 4:08pm

A Perth taxi driver has been jailed for sexually assaulting a female passenger who fell asleep while he was driving her home.

The offence happened in December 2007, but Mohamed Rashad Abdul Raheem was not charged until the case was reviewed using new DNA technology two years ago.

He denied the allegation, but was found guilty by a jury after a trial in the District Court.

The woman, who was 18 at the time, had been socialising with friends in the city in the week before Christmas 2007, when she flagged down Abdul Raheem’s taxi in the early hours of the morning to take her home.

She was tired and fell asleep, but woke to find her dress pulled up to her waist and Abdul Raheem sexually assaulting her.

Driver breached obligation

The court heard the offence lasted only a “matter of seconds” and the woman didn’t say anything at the time because she was “scared and fearful” of what Abdul Raheem might to do.

She later reported the matter to police.

Judge Julie Wager said Abdul Raheem had breached his obligation as a taxi driver to take customers home safely.

“You took advantage of a vulnerable young woman and offended against her,” the judge told the 45-year-old father of three.

“Young women need to know if they catch a taxi home they will not be violated.”

Abdul Raheem’s lawyer, Simon Freitag, had suggested his client could receive a suspended jail term, describing him as an otherwise “hardworking, good husband and father, and contributing member of society” who had not offended before and would not offend again.

Judge Wager accepted that Abdul Rheem was otherwise of impeccable character, but said she could not suspend the term.

“People need to know that if taxi drivers offend in this way there will be repercussions and that is an immediate term of imprisonment,” she said.

In sentencing Abdul Raheem to 16 months’ jail, Judge Wager said she had shown “a degree of mercy” because of the burden and distress the jail term would cause his family.

Abdul Raheem will have to serve eight months before he can be released on parole.

 

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