An east London man has been jailed for kidnapping, robbing and raping a woman who got into his car believing it was her Uber driver.
Mohammed Awais has been jailed for more than nine years after a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday 10 January.
The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to rape, assault by penetration, kidnap, robbery, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
The court heard how at around 12.30am on Saturday 20 October 2018, the victim booked an Uber to take her home after a night out with friends in Dalston, east London.
Unknown to her that her Uber driver had cancelled, a white Toyota Auris pulled up and the victim got in the back of the car thinking it was her taxi.
The victim voiced her concerns when the perpetrator did not know where he was, before locking all the doors and speeding up.
The victim was driven to a dark alleyway in East Ham where she was raped.
After the horrific attack, Awais robbed her of her money, phone and laptop.
He then told her to get out of the car and drove away.
The victim alerted two members of the public in the street, who called the police.
Awais was identified as the driver of the white Toyota Auris by another man who was questioned during the investigation and was arrested at his home in East Ham four days after the attack.
He was identified by a witness at an ID parade and was linked to the crime by forensic evidence.
Leading the investigation, DS Emma Matthews, said: “It was established the legitimate Uber vehicle the victim had booked had been 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.
“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.”
Tanyia Dogra, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mohammed Awais lured a young woman into his car late at night by pretending to be her Uber driver. This was a terrifying ordeal for the woman involved.
“He inflicted upon the victim what might be considered any woman’s worst nightmare. He kidnapped her, and over a period of time he threatened to kill her, robbed her and raped her.
“The prosecution case relied on strong witness testimonies and CCTV evidence, which left Awais with little choice but to plead guilty to his crimes.
“I hope today’s sentence sends out a clear message to those who prey on vulnerable victims and encourages more victims to come forward and report sexual assaults.”