Fake taxi driver who kidnapped, raped and assaulted women sentenced to 22 years in prison
A “predatory” man who kidnapped and sexually assaulted two young women by posing as a taxi driver in Birmingham has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Thasawar Iqbal was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court last Friday (26 May) for the offences, which occurred in December 2021 and July 2022. He will serve a minimum of 17 years for his vicious crimes.
Vicious sexual attacks
The 41-year-old from Birmingham picked up the first woman in Birmingham City Centre in the early hours of 19 December 2021, offering her a lift home.
Iqbal drove the woman from Digbeth to an unknown location, consuming drugs while he was driving and offering them along with alcohol to her, which she refused. He made sexual advances towards her before stopping at a house. He attempted to take the woman inside but she managed to escape and hide. He was later arrested and bailed.
While on bail, in the early hours of 10 July 2022, Iqbal picked up another woman from Birchfield Road as she walked alone, blocking her path and offering her a lift which she initially refused. Iqbal continued to follow the woman and persuaded her that he was a taxi driver and would get her home safely.
Iqbal took the woman to a local pub carpark where he sexually assaulted her. He then offered to drop her home and asked for her phone number. Instead, the woman agreed to have Iqbal’s number. She later called the police and Iqbal was subsequently arrested and charged.
Iqbal was found guilty on 18 January this year of several offences including kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence, sexual assault and rape. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the offences on 26 May.
“Predatory sexual offender”
Detective Constable Soniya Ram from the West Midlands Police’s specialist Public Protection Unit, said:
“Iqbal is a predatory sexual offender. Although an opportunist his actions were persistent and pre-planned, posing as a taxi driver to pick up young vulnerable women, driving them to locations of his choice and sexually abusing them.
“He put both women through such fear and sexual violence, completely disregarding the fact he was already being investigated when he committed further offences in July last year.
“The women endured traumatic ordeals but bravely came forward to recount what happened to them to help us apprehend him. With the help of the Crown Prosecution Service we remanded him in custody from July 2022 to prevent others becoming victims.
“Iqbal’s conviction is testament to both women’s courageous actions and, thankfully, he is now off the streets and will be behind bars for a long time.”
Police also urge anyone who has been subjected to a sex attack, no matter how long ago, to contact them and report any such incidents.
“We have specialist officers to help you through the justice process. It’s important to note that victims of rape are protected by law and have life-long anonymity,” a police statement read.
To find out more about reporting sexual assault to West Midlands Police, click here.