A man has been jailed for five years for sexually assaulting three women in a two-week period while working as a taxi driver.
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 a sexual assault on January 30th, 2016 and two sexual assaults on February 16th, 2016.
Judge Sinéad Ní Chulacháin sentenced Uddin to three years imprisonment for each count. She said the sentences on the latter two counts will run concurrently with each other, but consecutive to the earlier one.
The judge suspended the final year of the sentences for counts two and three for two years on strict conditions, leaving Uddin with an effective sentence of six years imprisonment with one year suspended.
During the trial, Sgt Aoife Cronin told Sinéad McMullan BL, prosecuting, that the first woman (19) 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 and rubbed her cheek, telling her 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 said she could keep the money if she gave him a kiss. He invited her back into the car but she refused.
The second victim (20) got into Uddin’s taxi when upset after an argument with her boyfriend. He 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 side of her body. When she arrived at her home, he asked if she needed a hug before he leaned in as if to kiss her. The woman got out of the car and Uddin drove off at speed. She provided gardaí with a partial registration number.
The third woman (18) got into Uddin’s taxi about an hour later. He immediately began rubbing her leg and 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”.
Sgt Cronin said the woman noticed that Uddin’s identification was behind a 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 angry, opened her door and told her to get out. She tried to take a photograph of him but he stopped her.
At a sentencing hearing Sgt 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 Hailo taxi app which confirmed that Uddin had travelled the three routes the women had outlined.
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 was not permitted to work as a taxi driver at night.
Seamus Clarke SC, defending, said the bail conditions had been put in place by the High Court and that gardaípoliced Uddin while he was on bail. His license was revoked when he entered guilty pleas in February.
Mr 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 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.