Fake taxi driver jailed for 11 years after attempting to rape female passenger
Raja Gulraiz was found guilty of attempted rape and sexual assault following a trial at Leeds Crown Court. The court heard Gulraiz, 48, parked his Toyota Yaris close to a taxi rank in Castleford in June 2021 and told his victim he was taxi driver.
After she got into his car he sexually assaulted her and tried to rape her while on the journey home. The trial also heard Gulraiz, of Harwell Road, Sheffield, had been linked to a similar offence in Castleford in 2018.
He was jailed on Monday (Sep 18) for 11 years.
A personal statement from the victim, which was read out in court, said: “Prior to this I wouldn’t think twice about walking home alone at night, walking my dog or even getting into a taxi. I enjoyed my own company and I would always see the good in people, so it would never enter my head that people would be deceiving.
“I still have a lot of triggers. I no longer walk anywhere at night. I can’t go down a certain street and until recently I couldn’t even walk from my car to my front door without asking my mum or my partner to be waiting at door for me. This incident has impacted every aspect of my life on a daily basis and has changed me to someone whom I don’t want to be…I grieve that person I once was.”
Speaking after the sentencing Superintendent Phil Jackson, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “The victim has shown immense bravery in reporting what happened to her and the further courage to put her trust in the criminal justice system.
“It cannot be underestimated how hard it will have been for her to stand up in front of her attacker in court and relive the ordeal that he subjected her to. She has done this in the hope that she can stop what happened to her from happening to someone else. I hope that this conviction also helps give other victims the confidence to come forward.
“Gulraiz has failed to accept responsibility for his actions. The investigation team have worked tirelessly to ensure he has been brought to justice.
“We are committed to protecting woman and girls from violence and sexual violence. This conviction has ensured that a dangerous predator is now behind bars and will have conditions on him in the future to protect others from harm.”