A man has been jailed for nine years and four months for kidnapping, raping and robbing a woman who got into his vehicle mistakenly thinking he was an Uber driver.
Mohammed Awais, 28, of East Ham, London, was handed the sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to rape, assault by penetration, kidnap, robbery, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
The court heard that at around 12.30am on Saturday, October 20 the 28-year-old victim had been out with friends in the Dalston area of London when she ordered an Uber for the journey home.
When a white Toyota Auris arrived she got in the back, thinking was her it was ride. When she voiced her concerns after it seemed the driver didn’t know where he was going, he locked the doors and sped up, driving the woman to an alleyway in East Ham where she was raped.
After the attack the man robbed the victim of her possessions, including her phone, cash and a laptop, and ordered her to get out of the car. He then drove away.
The victim fled, running and hiding in the front garden of a nearby house, before telling two passers-by what had happened. They called the police.
The Metropolitan Police said an investigation by officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command identified Awais as driving the vehicle.
He was arrested on October 24 at his home in East Ham, identified by a witness at an ID parade and also linked to the crime by forensic evidence.
Detective Sergeant Emma Matthews, who led the investigation, said the Uber the victim had booked was “cancelled without her realising”.
“Awais, who had never worked as an Uber driver, arrived at the location purely by chance and, spotting a lone female, acted as an imposter to get her into his vehicle before carrying out his despicable attack,” Det Sgt Matthews said.
“His disgusting behaviour is beyond comprehension. He left the victim in fear of her life.
“She has been extraordinarily brave throughout the entire process. I would like to thank her for supporting our investigation, and hope that eventually, and with our continued support, she will one day be able to leave this terrible incident behind her.”