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Fake Uber driver who kidnapped and raped woman jailed

Sky News logo Sky News 11/01/2019 Sanya Burgess, news reporter

a man looking at the camera: Mohammed Awais has been jailed for nine years. Pic: Met Police © Other Mohammed Awais has been jailed for nine years. Pic: Met Police A man kidnapped, robbed and raped a woman who mistakenly got into his vehicle, thinking it was her Uber driver.

Mohammed Awais, 28, has been jailed for more than nine years after a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday.

He had pleaded guilty to rape, assault by penetration, kidnap, robbery, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

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The court heard how at around 12.30am on 20 October last year, the victim ordered an Uber to take her home after a night out with friends in Dalston, east London.

Not realising her Uber driver had cancelled, a white Toyota Auris pulled up and the victim got in the back thinking it was her taxi.

A photo illustration shows the Uber app and a black cab in London, Britain (REUTERS) © Reuters A photo illustration shows the Uber app and a black cab in London, Britain (REUTERS)

She voiced her suspicion when the driver did not appear to know where he was supposed to be going, before he locked the doors and sped up.

The victim was driven to a dimly lit alleyway in East Ham where she was raped.

After the attack, Awais robbed her of all her possessions - including her phone, money and a laptop.

He ordered her to get out of the car and drove away.

The victim ran as far as she could and hid in the front garden of a home while she waited to see if Awais had followed her.

She then alerted two members of the public in the street, who called the police.

Awais was identified as the driver of the white car by another man held during the investigation and was arrested at his East Ham home four days after the attack.

Police officers belt with handcuffs. (Getty Images) © Getty Images Police officers belt with handcuffs. (Getty Images)

He was identified by a witness at an ID parade and was linked to the crime by forensic evidence.

DS Emma Matthews, who led the investigation, said: "It was established the legitimate Uber vehicle the victim had booked had been cancelled without her realising.

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"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."

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