Taxi driver jailed for sex assault on 'helpless' woman
A taxi driver has been jailed for sexually assaulting a "helpless" woman in his cab.
Mohammed Tahir, 35, picked up the 33-year-old victim in Bootle, Merseyside, after she had become separated from her friend while out clubbing.
Liverpool Crown Court heard she fell asleep and was driven to a quiet spot.
Tahir, of Sunnyside, Toxteth, was cleared of rape but convicted of assault by penetration and jailed for 12 years.
Judge Andrew Menary, QC, told Tahir the victim was "completely at your mercy".
He said Tahir had attacked the victim "at a time when she was completely helpless".
Turning to Tahir across the courtroom as she read a statement to the court, the victim told him: "You are a predator and a disgrace of a human being."
Tahir, whose taxi licence had expired hours before the attack on 26 December, drove the woman to Seel Street in the city centre where she hoped to rejoin her friend.
But when he saw she was asleep he drove her around for two and a half hours looking for secluded locations and eventually ended up near Netherton where he climbed into the back seat for 40 minutes and sexually assaulted her, the court heard.
In her statement, the woman added: "My life has been turned upside down.
"I cannot remember much but waking up the next morning I had flashbacks and knew I had been assaulted."
The victim also said Tahir "destroyed part of me I'll never get back".
The judge ordered Tahir to sign the sex offenders register for life and imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order banning him from working as a taxi driver or transporting females.