An unlicensed mini cab driver has been found guilty of rape at Woolwich Crown Court.
Ellie Feghaly, 44, of Ealing Park Lodge, Horsden Lane South, Perivale Middx was sentenced to nine years for the rape of a 33-year-old woman in August last year.
The court heard how on 23rd August 2012 the victim, who was in London on business, had been enjoying a night out in central London before wishing to return to her hotel. After leaving a bar in Leicester Square, she came across what she and a male companion thought was a minicab driven by Ellie Feghaly.
As the victim and her friend were headed in the same direction they decided to share the cab. However, it soon became apparent to them; Feghaly did not know where he was going and was becoming increasingly aggressive towards them.
It was at this point, Feghaly suggested to them that the male occupant get out of the car at a Texaco petrol station in Shadwell, east London and ask for directions.
Once the man got out of the car, Feghaly seized the opportunity to drive off with the victim, locking all of the doors and preventing her escape. He drove to a car park a short distance away and raped the victim on the backseat.
Following the assault, the victim managed to escape from the car and attracted the attention of a passer-by.
Her friend meanwhile had been attempting to call her and came to her aid.
The following morning she reported the rape to police.
The victim was medically and forensically examined at the Haven in Camberwell and a DNA profile of the attacker was obtained.
On 27th August 2012 the suspect was identified as Ellie Feghaly through a match on the National DNA database. He was arrested on 26th August 2012 at 21:00 and subsequently charged.
Feghaly pleaded not guilty to the offence but the jury refused to believe him and returned a guilty verdict.
Detective Constable Peter Thompson from the Metropolitan Police Services (MPS) Sapphire Command based at Lewisham said: “This man used violence in order to carry out this attack. He was operating as an unlicensed mini-cab driver in Central London. The victim had trusted that she would get to her destination safely. However this sexual predator subjected her to this horrific attack despite her pleas for him to stop. I hope that the sentence handed down by the Judge goes someway in helping the victim recover from this ordeal.”
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Thomas of MPS Sapphire Command said: “Feghaly worked as an unlicensed cab driver to target vulnerable women. The victim has shown great courage throughout this ordeal and as a result Feghaly has been taken off the streets. It is possible there are other victims out there and I would urge them to come forward. I hope this will encourage those who have been victims to come forward and tell us what has happened to them”
The public are reminded of the following tips when using minicabs
Never approach a minicab on the street or accept a fare, they are acting illegally, even if they are licensed by Transport for London (TfL)
Only black cabs can pick passengers up on the street without a booking
When travelling by minicab always book it with a licensed operator, when it arrives check it’s for you by getting the driver to confirm your booking details and always sit in the back
To get three local cab numbers text ‘CAB’ to 60835. Users of 3 and overseas networks must enter different information. See tfl.gov.uk/cabwise for details and charges.