A TAXI driver who sexually assaulted a teenage girl after picking her up in Clitheroe has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Zameer Arshad (26), of Richmond Hill Street, Accrington, was added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and given a 15-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order after appearing at Burnley Crown Court for sentencing.
He was previously found guilty of sexual assault on January 13th after a five-day trial at Preston Crown Court.
Arshad collected the 17-year-old girl and her two friends around 11-15 p.m. on October 9th 2010 after they had been on a night out in Clitheroe. He dropped her friends at their home before driving the girl to an unknown address in Accrington where he sexually assaulted her. He then abandoned her in a distressed state in the town centre.
He was arrested five days later following an investigation by Accrington CID.
DC Helen Mercer said: “Arshad is a dangerous individual who preyed on and took advantage of a vulnerable young girl. People trust taxi drivers to get them home safely and to abuse his position in this way is appalling.
“I would like to praise the girl for coming forward to the police and for her bravery throughout the trial. She was subjected to a horrendous and terrifying ordeal and was left frightened and distressed. I am in no doubt the streets of Accrington are a safer place now he is behind bars.
“While offences like this are rare, I urge people to consider their personal safety when they are out drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption can put people at risk and people should consider how much they are drinking and what risks they may be taking both in terms of their personal safety and health.
“Make a plan for getting home after a night out. Make sure your friends know where you are and what the plan is for getting home and others know when you are going and when you get home safely.”
Anyone with information or concerns about crime can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.