September 2013

Jailed: Taxi driver who raped 15-year-old boy

ShahbazAhmed

A TAXI driver who raped a teenage boy in his car has been jailed for 10 years.

Married Metro Cars driver Shahbaz Ahmed enticed the 15-year-old boy into his vehicle by telling him it was not safe to walk home at night and offering him a lift.

But instead the father-of-three took the teenager to an isolated car park at Harwood Golf Club and forced him to perform a sex act.

Ahmed, aged 35, of Bertrand Road, Heaton, had denied rape but a jury unanimously found him guilty following a three-day trial in July.

At Bolton Crown Court this afternoon Vanessa Thomson, prosecuting, said the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, now feels vulnerable on public transport, believes his personality has become more aggressive and was affected by having to give evidence at the trial.

“He felt like he was being called a liar,” she said.

The jury had heard how the boy had been walking along Thicketford Road, Tonge Moor, in the early hours of July 13 last year when Ahmed, who was working a shift for the taxi firm at the time, pulled up alongside him and offered him a lift.

The teenager thought he was being kind until he was taken to the car park instead of his home.

“He was alone and in the circumstances you took advantage of the situation and the fact you were in a taxi and you enticed him into your car,” Judge Stead told Ahmed.

“I have no doubt at all that your purpose was sexual.”

He added that Ahmed used his dominant position to force the boy to comply with the abuse.

“When in the car park the complainant stated in his evidence, and I accept it is the truth, that your manner changed. You were less pleasant and you intimidated him,” said Judge Stead.

“He was frightened over what might happen next. He felt so isolated and intimidated that, upon your requirement that he perform a sexual acts with you, his will was overborne and he was unable to do other than allow the events to happen against his will.”

Wayne Jackson, defending, said Ahmed, who has no previous convictions, had generally been well regarded and thought of as being polite with a pleasant demeanour.

He added that the taxi driver’s wife is expecting their third child in January and the conviction has had a devastating effect on his family.

“There is no doubt that Ahmed is a man who has substantially fallen from grace,” said Mr Jackson.

Judge Stead also made a sexual offences prevention order banning Ahmed from living and sleeping in the same accommodation as a boy under the age of 16 without official approval.

He is also prohibited from contacting his victim and must provide police with the details of any vehicle he drives.

He has now been placed on the sex offenders register and is banned from working with children and vulnerable adults .

Det Con Mark Tiffany, from the police’s serious sexual offences unit, said: “The trauma of what happened will stay with the victim for a long time and it is a credit to him that he gave evidence that was vital in securing Ahmed’s conviction.”

July 2013

GUILTY: Taxi driver raped 15-year-old boy

A TAXI driver faces jail after being convicted of picking up a teenage boy and raping him in his car.

It took a jury of eight men and four women just three and a half hours to unanimously find Shahbaz Ahmed guilty of raping the 15-year-old boy.

During a three day trial at Bolton Crown Court they had heard how the boy, who is now aged 16, was walking home along Thicketford Road,Tonge Moor in the early hours of July 13 last year after spending the evening with friends.

Metro Cars driver Ahmed was working that night when he spotted the teenager, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and offered him a lift, telling the boy, “You shouldn’t be walking around at this time. It’s dangerous.”

The teenager told the court he thought the driver was just being kind, but after stopping briefly outside the boy’s home, Ahmed then drove to the car park at Harwood Golf Club.

There he forced the boy to perform a sex act on him. The teenager said he was too terrified to run away because he feared Ahmed would run him over with the car.

After the ordeal Ahmed, a 35-year-old married father-of-three, drove the boy home and the teenager told adults what had happened.

DNA from Ahmed was found on the boy and the taxi driver, of Parkfield Road, Great Lever, was arrested.

He admitted a sexual act had taken place, butclaimed it was at the teenager’s instigation, adding that the boy had pulled out a knife and threatened to hurt himself if he did not take part.

Ahmed stood emotionless in the dock as the guilty verdict was read out and his defence counsel Wayne Jackson, requesting an adjournment until September 6 for reports to be prepared before sentence is passed, conceded: “A custodial sentence of some length will follow.”

Judge Timothy Stead told Ahmed: “The matter you have been found guilty of is a serious one. In all the circumstances you will be remanded in custody between now and September.”

Ahmed was also told he will be placed on the sex offenders register and is now barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.