A TAXI driver branded a ‘sexual predator’ has been locked up for eight years for sexually assaulting two women he picked up on nights out in Sheffield.
Zahoor Mahmood, aged 40, who worked for City Taxis, targeted both women within the space of three weeks last summer.
He picked his first victim up outside Club Xes, Carlisle Street, Attercliffe, in the early hours of June 19 last year, at about 3.40am and instead of taking her home - which would have taken 12 minutes - he locked her in his cab, climbed into the back with her and tried to get her to snort cocaine to get her ‘in the mood’.
Police spoke to him about the matter when a complaint was made but three weeks later he preyed upon a 17-year-old girl he spotted walking home after a night out.
He said ‘a pretty young girl’ should not be walking alone and when she told him she had no money for the fare he offered to driver her home for free.
But instead of her journey home lasting the five minutes it should have done he locked her in his cab for an hour, tried to get her to snort cocaine and touched her.
The court heard he had wanted to involve the girl in a threesome with another woman, who gave evidence against the taxi driver during his trial, revealing details of what his plan had been.
She managed to send a text message to a friend saying she was ‘scared’ and the police were contacted.
Mahmood, of Balfour Road, Darnall, was jailed for a total of eight years and will have to spend an extended three years on licence at the end of his sentence, meaning he will be monitored by the authorities for a total of 11 years.
Councillor Simon Lawler QC said he posed a ‘significant risk to members of the public of serious harm’.
He also described him as ‘devious’ and ‘dishonest’ and made him the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from every working as a public service vehicle driver ever again.
Previous article in JUSNews:
A cab driver sexually assaulted two women and offered them drugs after he picked them up from nights out in Sheffield, a court was told.
Zahoor Mahmood, 40, drove the girls to secluded locations on separate occasions last year before offering them some white powder which he inhaled himself.
A jury at Sheffield Crown Court was told he sexually assaulted both of them in his cab then took them home.
Mahmood, who worked for City Taxis private hire firm, picked up the first woman outside Club Xes on Carlisle Street at 3:40am on June 19.
She had drunk two glasses of wine and 10 half pints of cider by the time she got into Mahmood's cab, Fiona Sway, prosecuting, told the court.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, asked Mahmood to take her home but soon asked him to stop as she felt sick.
Mrs Sway said Mahmood then drove the cab to a deserted location. The woman said she had no idea where she was when Mahmood finally stopped the car.
The court was told he then poured some white powder onto a flattened lager can and offered it to her.
Mahmood told her: "This will chill you out and will get you in the mood."
He then got out of his cab, joined the woman on the back seat and started undoing her jeans, saying: "Let's have these off."
The woman, who was wearing heels, then kicked him in the groin and bit his arm.
She pushed him out of the cab, closed the doors, climbed into the driver's seat and tried to drive off, Mrs Sway told the court.
A 'cat and mouse game' followed with Mahmood trying to get back into his cab only for the woman to keep on locking the doors from the inside.
The woman then phoned the police from the taxi. The call was made at 5.40am.
Mahmood then asked the woman not to tell anyone about what happened as he would lose his licence, the court was told.
He drove her home and told her that he wouldn't charge her for the ride.
Once home the woman called her ex-partner who described her as distraught.
The woman said the whole incident was surreal and that she was "scared, angry, frustrated and terrified".
Mahmood was arrested soon after but later released, Mrs Sway told the court.
Three weeks later, Mahmood picked up a 17 year-old girl who was coming back from a friend's house, at around 1am.
He pulled his cab alongside the girl and said: "You shouldnít be walking home alone, a pretty young girl like you."
The girl said she couldn't afford the fare but Mahmood offered to drive her home for free, Mrs Sway told the court.
He told her to get in the front of the cab, claiming the seatbelts in the back were broken.
Mahmood then drove the girl to a deserted location where he again poured white powder onto a flattened lager can.
He heated it, inhaled the smoke and tried to get the girl to do the same, but she refused.
Mrs Sway said he then stroked her upper thigh.
The terrified girl then texted a friend, saying: "I am scared. He has just smoked some f****d up s**t in front of me and asked me if I wanted any."
The friend alerted the police, who rang the girl's mobile while Mahmood drove her to another secluded location and again tried to get her to smoke the drug.
The police told her to stay on the line and pretend she was speaking to a friend.
She kept the call running while Mahmood drove her back home. The court was told she then read out his registration number to the police.
Mahmood, 40, of Balfour Road, Sheffield, denies two charges of false imprisonment and two charges of sexual assault.
After the first incident, he allegedly told police: "Basically she's just making this silly story up."
But Mrs Sway told the court: "It's not made up and it's not silly either."
Later the court heard from another woman who said she was phoned by Mahmood in early July, asking if he could take the 17-year-old girl back to her home for sex.
He had formed a brief sexual relationship with the woman in return for supplying her with drugs.
The woman told the court the relationship began some weeks earlier when he propositioned her in the street, as he passed her in his cab.
She said she gave Mahmood her phone number and he later brought crack cocaine to her home.
"He put it on a bent can, lit it, and inhaled it," she told the court.
"I didn't smoke crack then but I got back on it when he brought it as I had smoked it before.
"We then had sex as I wasn't going to get it for free," she told the jury.
"Two weeks later he came back. He brought a guy with him, a drug dealer. Both of them pressured me into having sex.
"He brought crack with him again."
She told the court: "Then in early July he rang up and asked to bring a girl."
The witness, who cannot be named said she could hear the girl's voice in the background, pleading with Mahmood to drive her home.