A TAXI driver jailed for eight years for sexually assaulting women passengers had been stripped of his licence - but twice won appeals allowing him to continue working.
Zahoor Mahmood, aged 40, was described as a ‘sexual predator’ when he was jailed yesterday for sexually assaulting two women he picked up on nights out in Sheffield.
The father-of-four, who worked for City Taxis, attacked both women within three weeks last summer.
He picked his first victim up in Carlisle Street, Attercliffe, on June 19. However, instead of taking her home, he locked her in his cab for more than two hours, got into the back with her and tried to get her to snort cocaine to get her ‘in the mood’.
Three weeks later, he spotted a 17-year-old girl walking home after a night out. He pulled up alongside her and said ‘a pretty young girl’ should not be walking alone.
He offered to take her home for free when she said she had no money for the fare, but then locked her in his cab for an hour, tried to get her to snort cocaine and touched her.
Sheffield Council said Mahmood was working as a taxi driver despite twice being stripped of his licence.
The council’s licensing committee had twice revoked his licence after he was convicted of drug offences in 2005 and 2007. However, both times magistrates reinstated his licence on appeal.
Coun John Robson, committee chairman, said: “Our sympathies go out to the two young women victims.
“The committee twice revoked his licence as we did not consider him to be a fit and proper person to be a licensed driver.
“However, the magistrates’ court, on hearing his appeals, reinstated the licences.
“While we cannot comment on the reasons for their decision, the council was extremely uncomfortable Mahmood was still able to drive a taxi.”
Mahmood, of Balfour Road, Darnall, was jailed for eight years after being convicted of two counts of sexual assault and two counts of false imprisonment.
Judge Simon Lawler QC said he posed a ‘significant risk to members of the public of serious harm’.
He described him as ‘devious’ and ‘dishonest’ and made him the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from ever working as a public service vehicle driver ever again.
THE disgraced taxi driver had driven cabs in Sheffield for 15 years when he sexually assaulted two women in the space of three weeks.
Judge Simon Lawler QC, jailing the offender, said his victims had been ‘frightened and scared witless’ by the driver.
He said their ordeals have had a ‘serious and continuing effect upon their lives’.
n In victim impact statements read out at Sheffield Crown Court, his first victim said the assault had ‘devastated’ her and she fears she would have been raped if she had not managed to fight him off.
She said: “The attack has made me nervous and anxious. I have regular nightmares.”
Judge Simon Lawler QC said the driver had ‘abused’ his ‘position of trust as a taxi driver’.
n Danny Simpson, for Mahmood, said the cabbie had been addicted to crack cocaine when he struck.
He said: “He had worked as a taxi driver for 15 years prior to these events. It was an episode of behaviour over a period or a month or so which is entirely out of character for how he conducted himself for 15 years.
“It is obvious what that factor is - it involves the use of or addiction to crack cocaine.”