A BLACK cab driver who preyed on female students travelling home late at night in Sheffield has failed in a legal bid to clear his name.
Musie Asgodom, aged 30, of Park View Road, Sheffield, was jailed for seven years and nine months at Sheffield Crown Court in November after he was convicted of rape and sexual assault.
Lord Justice Moses at London’s Appeal Court turned down his conviction challenge and also ruled the sentence was fair.
Asgodom’s lawyers claimed his trial was unfair because jurors were shown CCTV footage of one of his attacks while considering their verdicts, which was far clearer than a DVD shown earlier.
The court heard the machine in the jury room could not fast forward so they were sent a new one which produced a much clearer image.
The judges were told this amounted to ‘new evidence’ which should not have been viewed by jurors in the privacy of their retiring room.
But Lord Justice Moses told the court: “There was nothing improper, unfair or irregular in what happened during this case. The verdicts were not unsafe, we dismiss the appeal.”
In the first attack - in March 2011 - Asgodom took the woman home but offered to waive his fare in return for a kiss.
The woman thought he was joking but then struggled to escape as he ’kissed her hand’. Asgodom groped her as she tried to flee.
The following month he struck again, taking a late-night passenger to a deserted car park in the city where he exposed himself and raped her. She managed to escape and grabbed his ID badge.
Asgodom was implicated in the attack by DNA evidence and CCTV footage.
The judge said Asgodom had assaulted and exploited a ‘vulnerable young student’ and had ‘abused’ his position of trust.
n National Rape Crisis: 0808 8029999