Sheffield cabbie loses prison appeal

Zahoor Mahmood, of Darnall,  jailed for sexually assaulting women passengers
Zahoor Mahmood, of Darnall, jailed for sexually assaulting women passengers
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A cab driver who abducted two women from Sheffield city centre and sexually assaulted them has failed to win a cut in his jail term.

Zahoor Mahmood, of Balfour Road, Darnall, trapped them in his car before making his advances in two separate ‘grave’ attacks in 2011, London’s Court of Appeal heard.

The 41-year-old was handed an 11-year extended sentence – eight years in prison and three more under supervision on licence in the community – after he was convicted of two sexual assaults and two counts of false imprisonment at Sheffield Crown Court in May 2012.

He picked his first victim up in Carlisle Street, Attercliffe, on June 19, 2011.

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 offered to take her home for free, but then locked her in his cab for an hour, tried to get her to snort cocaine and touched her.

But the father-of-four – who worked for City Taxis at the time and was branded a ‘sexual predator’ when he was jailed – appealed the length of his prison term.

Danny Simpson, for Mahmood, said the judge was wrong to find him a ‘dangerous’ offender and over-rated the seriousness of his crimes, handing him an over-the-top sentence.

However, three senior judges rejected the appeal, saying ‘there was nothing wrong’ with his sentence.

Lord Justice Jackson, with Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Leggatt, said: “The experience was terrifying for the victims, as was clear from the victim impact statements.

“This was a gross beach of trust by Mahmood – taxi drivers in city centres late at night often have to carry lone female passengers. Each offence was grave.

“The fact he committed effectively the same offence twice within three weeks was deeply troubling.”