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Taxi driver who sexually assaulted three women within two weeks jailed for 5 years

Mansoor Uddin pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial last February at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Criminal Courts of Justice
Criminal Courts of Justice
Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

A TAXI DRIVER who sexually assaulted three young women within two weeks has been jailed for five years.

Mansoor Uddin (41), a married father of three, of Castleway, Adamstown, Lucan, pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial last February at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to sexual assault on 30 January 2016 and two sexual assaults on 16 February 2016.

Judge Sinéad Ní Chulacháin sentenced Uddin to three years imprisonment for each count of sexual assault. She said the sentences on the latter two counts will run concurrently with each other, but consecutive to the earlier count of sexual assault.

Judge Ní Chulacháin also suspended the final year of the sentences for counts two and three for two years on strict conditions for an effective operating sentence of six years imprisonment with one year suspended. She also gave Uddin credit for any time he has already spent in custody.

The court heard at a sentence hearing last month that Uddin sexually assaulted two of the women on the same night after demanding that one of them get out of his taxi when he saw her trying to get a photo of his identification.

This 18-year-old victim had also called a friend while in the vehicle and gave her Uddin’s name and some of his taxi number. She tried to take a photograph of Uddin but he stopped her.

At the hearing in April Sergeant Aoife Cronin told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, that gardaí used CCTV footage, a database of registered public service vehicles and a computer generated likeness from the first victim to identify Uddin.

As part of the garda investigation, officers also used GPS co-ordinates from the Halo taxi app which confirmed that Uddin had travelled the three routes the women had outlined to gardaí.

Sentencing 

The court heard that as part of his bail conditions a female passenger was not permitted to be a front seat passenger in Uddin’s taxi. He was also subject to a curfew which meant that he wasn’t permitted to work as a taxi driver at night time.

Seamus Clarke SC, defending, said the bail conditions had been put in place by the High Court and that gardaí policed Uddin while he was on bail. His license was revoked when he subsequently entered guilty pleas in February.

Today, Clarke said his client had been provided with documentation to surrender his tenancy, but that his wife and children would be allowed to remain in new accommodation once it is ready.

Clarke said that a psychological report showed Uddin as being someone with low levels of intellectual function.

Judge Ní Chulacháin said the case was aggravated by Uddin abusing his position as a taxi driver, his being aware of the vulnerability of the injured parties, his refusing to stop the taxi in two of the three cases, the timing of the offences being at night, his touching one of the women on her bare skin under her clothing and the somewhat planned targeting of the third woman.

She said the mitigating factors were his guilty plea, his losing his livelihood, his losing of his tenancy, his difficulties in early life, his mental health difficulties, his previous good character and his lack of previous convictions.

Additional evidence from previous hearings

Sergeant Cronin told McMullan that the first woman, a 19-year-old German national, continually pushed Uddin’s hand away as he rubbed her knee and leg while driving. He told her she had “a beautiful heart”.

He also touched her chest area and rubbed her cheek, telling her that she was “the most beautiful girl of the night”. The woman bit Uddin’s finger when he touched her cheek and told him she wanted to get out of the car.

She threw money at him and managed to get out but he drove alongside her, rolled down his window and told she could keep the money if she would just give him a kiss. He asked her to get back into the car but she refused. She reported Uddin to the gardaí the following day.

The second victim, a 20-year-old woman, got into Uddin’s taxi upset having had an argument with her boyfriend. He asked her why she was crying and told her not to be upset because she was beautiful.

He wiped away her tears and rubbed her face and lip before brushing his hand down the right side of her body. When she arrived at her home he asked her if she needed a hug before he leaned in towards her as if to kiss her.

The woman got out of the car and Uddin drove off at speed. She was later able to provide gardaí with a partial registration number.

The third woman, an 18-year-old school girl, got into Uddin’s taxi approximately an hour later. He immediately began rubbing her leg telling her how soft her skin was.

She pushed him away and he tried to get his hand into her underwear. Uddin asked her what age she was and when she told him he smiled and said she was “really young”.

Sergeant Cronin said this girl noticed that Uddin’s identification was behind the CD player. She accepted a call from a friend while in the taxi and tried to give her some of the details she could read off his identification.

Uddin became very angry, leaned across her, opened her door and told her to get out. She tried to take a photograph of him but he stopped her doing so.

Victim impact statement

A victim impact statement from the first woman said she wouldn’t allow her boyfriend to touch her where Uddin had touched her. She felt scared and numb and had problems sleeping at night.

She didn’t trust her friends and became isolated. She later attended for weekly counselling. She still finds it difficult to get a taxi, particularly at night.

The second woman was traumatised after the incident and lost trust in taxi drivers. She worries about the safety of others in taxis and felt ashamed for allowing herself to be so vulnerable.

She doesn’t sit in the front passenger seat of a taxi anymore and tries to always have someone with her when she needs to get one. She said she is more self conscious when she hears someone coming from behind her or towards her.

Sergeant Cronin agreed with Clarke that Uddin is a Pakistan national who is married with two teenage daughters and a younger son.

Clarke said the three women were “young vulnerable people who were relying on him to bring them home safely and he didn’t do that.”

At a previous sentence hearing this month, Seamus Clarke SC, defending, indicated that there had been a lot of media attention surrounding the case in April and this has had huge repercussions on his client’s family.

He said he wished to clarify the position in relation to his client’s bail and told the court that Uddin’s license was revoked following his guilty plea in February.

“The reality is that his bail condition was that if he had a single passenger they had to sit in the back of the vehicle. Once he pleaded guilty his license was revoked,” Clarke told Judge Ní Chulacháin before he said that Uddin had not actually worked as a taxi driver since November last year.

Counsel said as part of his bail conditions Uddin was also subject to a curfew which meant that he wasn’t permitted to work as a taxi driver at night time. He said the gardaí policed Uddin while on bail and the bail conditions had been put in place by the High Court.

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Sonya McLean

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