Flint taxi driver convicted of rape fled ‘to Syria’

Sultan Amari
Sultan Amari

A Flintshire taxi driver sentenced to 11 years in jail after raping a student twice following a night out has fled the country, a court has heard.

Syrian-born Sultan Amari, 46, from Flint, was due to return to the trial on Monday but sent an email saying he had no intention of returning.
He boarded a flight to Istanbul on Sunday and it is understood he could be headed for Syria.

He was convicted in his absence at Warrington Crown Court.

The last time the father-of-one attended the court was on Friday when he was giving evidence.

A warrant has been issued for Amari’s arrest and police enquiries to trace his whereabouts are ongoing.

During the trial he claimed sex with his victim had been consensual after he had picked her up and had taken her to a house he owned in Chester in July last year.

When it became apparent Amari was not going to turn up at court, the judge Tina Landale told the jury: “All I can say to you is he is not here and we are going to continue with the trial.”

She ordered an investigation into how Amari managed to breach his bail conditions and leave the country.

‘Vulnerable woman’

The court had heard how his victim could not recall anything that happened in between leaving a bar in Chester and waking up naked and alone in an unfamiliar house where he raped her twice over a period of about eight hours.

But she later had a flashback that she was lying face-down on a mattress, unable to move her arms or open her eyes, with a man having intercourse with her.

Amari was given 11 years for each count of rape to be served concurrently.

Judge Landale said: “This was a gross breach of trust with a very vulnerable woman.

“CCTV showed that she was totally incapable of walking in a straight line and she was obviously drunk.

“The public are entitled to be protected by people like Mr Amari but instead he exploited and took advantage of her.”

The victim said her relationship with her mother has suffered, as she feels she cannot be as open about her feelings for fear of upsetting her, and she feels she will never be able to get in a taxi again.

source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Taxi passenger Mohammed Azhar must pay £1,200 to driver he attacked

A man has been ordered to pay £1,200 compensation to a taxi driver with whom he had a row about a fare.

Mohammed Azhar was already under a suspended sentence for causing grievous bodily harm to his sister when he got into the taxi driven by Mohammed Yahyaei in Huddersfield on June 11.

Joe Culley, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday the fee to his home in Armitage Road, Birkby , was agreed as £3.50 but when they arrived he complained he had not got the correct change from his £5.

He became aggressive and threw money at the driver and then got into the front passenger seat and they were arguing and waving fingers at each other.

Mr Culley said the victim had hold of Azhar’s wrist and when he struggled and pulled it away he caught him on the nose with the side of his head.

“It is accepted as in his basis of plea that it was done recklessly and caused a bleeding and sore nose,” said Mr Cully.

The driver tried to telephone for the police but Azhar snatched his mobile, telling him not to do so. Another vehicle pulled up and the driver went to his assistance and the phone was returned.

The police were called and when Azhar was searched a metal weapon was found in his pocket known as a Kubotan, which he denied was for self-defence but said he used for religious reasons when tying up items of Asian clothing.

Mr Culley said on February 10 last year Azhar was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months for inflicting grievous bodily harm to his sister who suffered a fractured eye socket at their home.

The court heard Azhar told a probation officer he only himself to blame for his latest appearance in court, telling her: “I have a problem with anger.”

Jeremy Barton, representing him, said Azhar had a job as a quilter in a bed factory in Huddersfield and had managed to stay out of trouble until near the end of his suspended sentence.

He said actor Darren Day had been convicted of having a similar Kubotan on a key ring in a court case in Scotland and he too had not intended to use it as a weapon which is what it is considered. The driver had not even known Azhar had it.

He urged the court not to jail Azhar immediately and let him return to his family.

Azhar, 26, admitted assault by beating to Mr Yahyaei, possessing an offensive weapon and breaching the suspended sentence. He was sentenced to a total of eight months in prison suspended for two years, an activity requirement and ordered to pay £1200 compensation.

Recorder Michael Slater said he accepted the recent case was “an impetuous flare-up” and warned another breach would lead to an immediate jail term.

source: http://www.examiner.co.uk/

Met PC sacked for ‘dishonesty’ in dodging minicab fare after night out

A Met Police constable who got into a drunken row with a minicab driver over a £24 fare has been sacked.

Nicola Elston, 30, was told her conviction for making off without paying the fare amounted to gross misconduct when she appeared before a disciplinary hearing.

The panel heard that Elston, who has served with the force for seven years, was branded “relentlessly dishonest” by a judge following a three-day trial at Southwark crown court.

Michael Kirk, for the Met, said that on June 27 last year the Lambeth-based officer took a cab home to Croydon after a night drinking with colleagues but refused to pay the fare on arrival.

The panel was told she had a row with the driver, who claimed she punched him in the stomach. Elston was arrested hours later but told officers at her first interview that she was unable to recall the events of the night before.

She was charged last September and during her trial in March claimed she left the fare in the cab before getting out. Elston was cleared of the assault charge but fined for the fare evasion.

She was called to the disciplinary hearing to answer allegations her behaviour breached the Met’s standards for professional behaviour concerning honesty and integrity.

James Southgate, of the Met Police Federation, told the panel that the conviction had “devastated” Elston.

He added: “She must accept the court ruling but she disagrees with the outcome. She said she left the fare in the cab but the jury didn’t accept this. It did accept she did not assault the driver.

“She made a mistake. She accepts it, learned from it and the court has punished her for it. Please don’t take away this previously unblemished career.”

Elston wore her Pc’s uniform for the hour-long hearing but did not speak.

Assistant Commissioner Helen King concluded that she breached standards of honesty, saying her conviction and comments by the judge meant she could no longer work for the Met.

She added: “I must also consider the aggravating factors and what Londoners rightly expect from the force.”

source: http://www.standard.co.uk/

Taxi ‘legal loophole’ could put children at risk in Rotherham

Ministers have been urged to ‘act without delay’ to prevent a ‘damaging’ legal loophole from putting young people in Rotherham at risk in taxis.

Since the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham was revealed in 2014, all taxi drivers in the town now have strict rules to adhere to, including having CCTV installed in their vehicles.

But the Communities and Local Government Committee said it is concerned that taxis licensed by other local authorities may still operate in Rotherham, even if the drivers have had their application for a Rotherham licence rejected.

MPs said action is needed to address the ‘damaging’ legal loophole to prevent young and vulnerable people from being put at risk.

They have called for Government departments to prepare guidance in law over taxi licensing ‘without delay’, adding that new legislation should be considered.

Taxi drivers had a ‘prominent role’ in child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, according to the 2014 report by Professor Alexis Jay which suggested that 1,400 children had been abused over a 16-year period while those in authority turned a blind eye.

Children were often transported in taxis while they were moved around to be abused.

A report by Communities and Local Government Committee says: “We believe that local authorities must be able to apply particular measures in relation to taxi licensing in their areas, such as requiring taxis to have CCTV installed, without those measures being undermined by taxis coming in from other areas.

“We recommend that, in order to ensure that lessons are learned from experiences in Rotherham, the Department for

Communities and Local Government works with the Home Office and the Department for Transport on the preparation of statutory guidance under the Policing and Crime Bill in relation to taxi licensing.

“That guidance should be brought forward without delay. Once the guidance has been introduced, the Government should monitor the extent to which it ensures consistently high standards in taxi licensing across the country, and also enables local authorities to put in place and enforce specific measures which are appropriate for their local circumstances.

“If guidance is not able to achieve this, the Government should consider legislation.”

source: http://www.thestar.co.uk/

Delta private-hire driver pleads not guilty to raping male passenger

Private hire driver Khaldon Mohammed, 30, of Gwendoline Street in Toxteth has pleaded not guilty to raping a male passenger in Aigburth.

Khaldon Mohammed will stand trial in the new year

A Delta private hire driver has pleaded not guilty to raping a male passenger.

Khaldon Mohammed is alleged to have attacked the customer in his taxi in Aigburth late last year.

Mohammed, of Gwendoline Street in Toxteth , is alleged to have picked up the victim before attacking him near Sefton Park

The 30-year-old denied two counts of rape at Liverpool Crown Court today and is due to stand trial on January 12.

He was released on bail with conditions not to drive a taxi and not to contact the complainant.

He must also sign on at a police station three times a week.

Bootle-based Delta is one of the biggest minicab companies in the North West and employs more than 2,200 private hire drivers, according to its website.

source: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/

Bristol taxi driver who couldn’t pay for sex hit prostitute with a frying pan, court told

Tonia Noto said she knew Ayman Yousif as a client and he propositioned her for sex as she worked in Fishponds Road

A prostitute told a jury that a punter who didn’t have money to pay her for services bludgeoned her with a frying pan.

Tonia Noto said she knew Ayman Yousif as a client and he propositioned her for sex as she worked in Fishponds Road, Bristol Crown Court heard.

But she said when she went to his nearby flat later he didn’t have the money to pay her and became agitated, attacking her with a frying pan and screwdriver.

Yousif, 46, formerly of Fishponds Road but now living in Bothwell Street, Edinburgh, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm in April 2014.

Ms Noto said she had smoked drugs and done business with taxi driver Yousif, whom she knew as Ali, before.

But she said after he wanted to have sex, she twice went to his flat but he had no money to pay her.

She told Bristol Crown Court: “The second time we sat down and talked a little bit.

“Then he started groping me, he touched my breasts and crotch.

“I said I needed him to pay me. He only had £10.”

With that Yousif became agitated, she said.

She told the court she backed up against a draining board, feeling for something to defend herself, when Yousif attacked her.

She said: “He picked up a frying pan and repeatedly hit me with it. He was hitting me across my head, I raised my arm and he hit my arm.”

Ms Noto recounted how she screamed for help, hoping her partner stood outside would hear her.

Yousif continued to attack her with a frying pan, bit her and also struck her with a screwdriver, she said.

Ms Noto said: “It was just crazy.”

Even though Yousif locked his front door and tried to block it with a sofa, Ms Noto managed to unlock the door.

She said her partner then came in and punched Yousif to the floor before police arrived on the scene.

Though she suffered black eyes, a lump on the back of her head and bruising she told police “forget it” when they arrived.

But the court heard she made a complaint later after speaking to the One25 project, a charity which helps street sex workers.

Yousif said the woman came to his flat wanting money to buy drugs, hit him with his frying pan and stabbed him and he defended himself.

He told the jury: “I didn’t approach her for sex. I didn’t become angry. I wasn’t violent towards her,”

The case continues.

Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/

Renfrew taxi driver caught with £300,000 of cocaine on M74 motorway

A RENFREW taxi driver who was caught ferrying high purity cocaine worth more than £300,000 on the streets was jailed two years and eight months today.

Thomas Haggerty was stopped by police near Lockerbie, in Dumfriesshire, as he drove the consignment of Class A drugs north.

Haggerty, 30, of Lang Avenue, Renfrew, was found to have two kilos of cocaine after he was stopped by officers on July 28 last year.

But the blocks, which were stamped with a “Vans” logo, were discovered to be nearly 60 per cent pure after testing.

They had the potential to produce eight kilos of the drug if they were bulked out to produce narcotics of the normal level of strength found on the streets.

If the adulterated drug was sold in one gram deals it had the potential to be worth £312,000.

A judge told Haggerty at the High Court in Edinburgh: “The trafficking in Class A drugs is a vile and evil trade bringing misery to individuals and communities.”

Lord Boyd of Duncansby said: “You have a limited record and from what I have read a good work ethos.”

The judge said that the amount of cocaine involved in the seizure was “not insignificant”.

He told Haggerty he would have jailed him for four years if he had been convicted after trial, but said the sentence would be reduced following his guilty plea.

Haggerty had earlier admitted being concerned in the supply of cocaine on the A74(M) Carlisle to Glasgow road.

The court heard that police saw him driving in the northbound carriageway and were aware of intelligence that he was carrying drugs from the Merseyside area to Scotland. Haggerty was alone in the vehicle when it was stopped.

Defence counsel Paul Nelson said Haggerty had acted as a courier on one day after finding himself in “a difficult position”.

source: http://www.the-gazette.co.uk/

Uber minicab driver shows no remorse after he is jailed for 27 years for “execution” of Shawlands shopkeeper Asad Shah

A KILLER showed no remorse after he was jailed for life for the “execution” of popular Shawlands shopkeeper Asad Shah .

Tanveer Ahmed, 32, was told at Glasgow’s High Court on Tuesday that he will spend a minimum of 27 years in prison for the murder of the 40-year-old on March 24.

The killing, which was described by Lady Rae as an execution, happened at Mr Shah convenience store in Minard Road.

Mr Shah, an Ahmadi Muslim who moved from Pakistan to Glasgow in 1998, was discovered outside his shop with stab wounds and rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He had wished Christians a “very happy Easter” on Facebook hours before the brutal murder.

Uber minicab driver Ahmed was arrested and following a court hearing in April he released a statement through his lawyer saying Mr Shah had “disrespected the message of the Prophet Muhammad”.

He said the shopkeeper “claimed to be a prophet” and that “if I had not done this others would”.

The court was previously told Ahmed, a Sufi Muslim, drove from Bradford to Glasgow on the day of the murder and engaged in a discussion with Mr Shah at his store before pulling out a knife and attacking the shopkeeper.

En route to Glasgow he had watched online footage of Mr Shah and made the comment “something needs to be done, it needs nipped in the bud”.

Mr Shah fled violence in Pakistan to join his family in Scotland in 1998 and was granted asylum.

Ahmadis differ from the majority of Muslims in that they do not hold that Muhammad is the final Prophet.

Evidence gathered showed that Mr Shah had posted videos on Facebook and YouTube which could be seen as him claiming that he was a Prophet.

Lady Rae said the murder was a “brutal, barbaric and horrific crime resulting from intolerance.”

She told the court the CCTV footage captured during the murder was “an appalling display of merciless violence”.

She said: “You repeatedly stabbed Mr Shah and when his shop assistant bravely disarmed you, you did not desist but, determined to end his life, you continued the assault by repeatedly and forcefully punching, kicking and stamping on your victim’s head and neck.

“You ignored the pleas of Mr Shah’s brother to stop the attack. Such was the force of your repeated blows that some of the head and neck injuries found at the post mortem were described as being more commonly seen in victims of road accidents.”

The court heard Ahmed, from Bradford, was highly regarding within his own community.

The Judge said she had received glowing references and touching letters from Ahmed’s children.

When Ahmed was taken down to the cells, he raised a clenched fist and shouted loudly: “Praise for the Prophet Muhammad, there is only one Prophet.”

Some of his supporters in the courtroom responded by raising their arms and repeating the phrase.

Female relatives of Ahmed were in tears as they left the court.

Police Scotland officers said from the outset that they believed the attack was religiously prejudiced.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty, Local Policing Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, said, “Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Asad Shah, whose presence in the community is very much missed by everyone who knew him.

“I hope that the sentencing today will reassure the immediate community in Glasgow’s south-side as well as communities all across Scotland that acts of violence such as this are utterly unacceptable and cannot be justified.

“Glasgow is a strong, united, multi-faith community that has immense pride in its diversity. In fact, our communities celebrate this diversity, with people from all backgrounds, faiths and culture living, working and socialising together. Religious intolerance in any form is simply not tolerated in our society and Police Scotland will work in partnership with our communities to eradicate such behaviour, to ensure that no individual, group or community feels isolated, marginalised or threatened.”

source: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/

Uber minicab driver who murdered Shawlands shopkeeper Asad Shah to be sentenced today

A Uber minicab driver who murdered a shopkeeper for claiming he was a prophet will be sentenced today.

Tanveer Ahmed, 32, travelled from Yorkshire to Glasgow to confront Asad Shah at his store before pulling out a knife and stabbing the 40-year-old.

Ahmed claimed to have been offended by clips Mr Shah had posted online which he said ”disrespected the Prophet Muhammad”.

The Bradford father-of-three will be sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow after admitting the murder in Glasgow’s Shawlands area on March 24.

Mr Shah’s brother and a shop assistant tried to fend Ahmed off as he launched his attack on the popular businessman, described by locals as a ”pillar of the community”.

The Shah family, who moved to Scotland from Pakistan in the 1990s to escape persecution, belong to the Ahmadi sect of Islam whose beliefs differ from the majority of Muslims.

The court heard their belief that Prophet Muhammad was not the final prophet was a view many consider blasphemous.

In a statement released through his lawyer after the killing, Ahmed said: ”If I had not done this others would have and there would be more killings and violence in the world.”

Judge Lady Rae told Ahmed ahead of sentencing: ”There’s no justification whatsoever for what you did.”

source: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/

Gang who flooded city with heroin and cocaine via TAXI are jailed for 68 years

Waqar Ahmed

The six-man gang’s leaders Dhiren Lad, 34, and Mohammed Taymure Khan, 33, have now been sentenced to 12 years and 13 years 8 months behind bars respectively

The group, from Bolton, also dealt in large amounts cannabis and amphetamine before they were snared by police.

The Manchester Evening News reports that leaders Dhiren Lad, 34, and Mohammed Taymure Khan, 33, have now been sentenced to 12 years and 13 years 8 months behind bars respectively.

Between September 2014 and August 2015 Waqar Ahmed, used his job as a taxi driver as a cover for him to deliver drugs all over the country.

They were delivered to suppliers for sale on the streets of towns across the North West.

Mark Samuels was also involved in the storing and transporting of the drugs whilst Naheem Aslam and Ricky Parmar, both 34, also had leading roles in the organisation of the deals.

In September 2015, all six were arrested after a series of raids by Lancashire Police.

And they were charged a complex investigation which involved hundreds of pages of evidence, including calls and text messages, gathered by officers being analysed by CPS prosecutors.

All six men pleaded to one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and one count of conspiracy to supply class B drugs except Ahmed, who was convicted of both offences after a trial.

Lad, of Stanley Road, Radcliffe, was sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Khan, 33, of Hilden Street, Bolton, Aslam, 34, of Crescent Road, Great Lever and Parmar, of Rowton Street, Hall I’ Th’ Wood were all jailed for 13 years and eight months.

Ahmed, of no fixed abode, was jailed for nine years.

Samuels, 42, of of Prestwood Close, Bolton. was sentenced to six years.

Ben Southam, Deputy Head of the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, said: “This was an extremely complex case because of the sort of evidence that we were looking at.

“There was a huge amount of material to consider, including the analysis of hundreds of calls and texts between the members of the gang as they carried out drugs operations.

“Together with police and prosecuting counsel we built a strong and compelling case that each of these defendants had played a part in the plans to supply drugs in towns and cities in the North West and elsewhere in the country.

“The weight and detail of the evidence against them persuaded most of them to plead guilty.

“Through this prosecution and the sentences we have removed a substantial source of heroin, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines that were being supplied in local communities.

“We are determined to continue working with our police colleagues to disrupt the operations of drug dealers in the North West and to prosecute them through the courts.”

The CPS will now seek to confiscate the criminal assets of four of the men – Dhiren Lad, Mohammed Khan, Naheem Aslam and Ricky Parmar – under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/