Stevenage taxi driver guilty of rape

A taxi driver has been found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in his cab.

Tariq Mahmood, 48, of Archer Road, Stevenage, was found guilty at Luton Crown Court on Thursday of the assault in Ripon Road, Stevenage, in the early hours of October 31, 2009.

The jury heard how he had picked the woman up from Stevenage Leisure Park, but stopped en route to her home and assaulted her. She fled the cab after the attack and called police.

“This case has been particularly traumatic and very stressful for the victim who has been incredibly brave in the lead up and throughout this court case,” said Det Insp Steve Keating from Herts Constabulary sexual offence investigation team.

“We hope that she will now be able to put this behind her and move forward with her life.”

He added that Mahmood may have attacked other women and called on anyone with information to come forward.

“The case does date back to October 2009 and we are appealing to anyone who may feel they may have also been a victim of assault by this man. If you think you may have information, please get in touch by calling 0845 33 00 222. All calls will be treated with the strictest confidence.”

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Stevenage Chief Inspector Richard Liversidge added: “This was clearly a very traumatic incident for the victim, particularly as the offence was committed by someone who was entrusted by the community. It must be remembered that these offences are not common in Stevenage, but I would always ask members of the public to report any concerns.”

Mahmood, who was at the time licensed by Stevenage Borough Council, had his licence revoked while awaiting trial.

He will be sentenced on April 1.