Drug dealer on the run after shooting hides out as Uber driver

Yusuf Meah

A drug dealer on the run from a shooting spent six weeks undercover as a UBER driver.

Yusuf Meah, 27, disappeared in May last year after a gun was fired in the stairwell of his flat at Ashton Old Road, Openshaw .

Investigating police turned up at the property after he fled, and found cash and drugs belonging to him inside.

Yusuf’s brother, Ibrahim Meah, then rented a private hire vehicle, telling the owner he would be using it on taxi app Uber.

But, instead of using it to pick up fares, Ibrahim Meah gave the vehicle to his brother to use as a getaway car. With the taxi as cover, wanted Yusuf Meah was able to travel about for weeks without police catching up with him.

However, after six weeks at large and a public appeal for information, police tracked Yusuf Meah down to a flat in Salford. Now he and his brother Ibrahim have both been locked up.

Yusuf Meah, 27, admitted possessing an imitation firearm, failing to surrender, and charges of possessing MDMA and cannabis with intent to supply. He was jailed for six years.

Using the taxi as cover, wanted Yusuf Meah was able to travel about for weeks without police catching up with him

Ibrahim Meah, 30, of Burnage, later admitted assisting an offender and has now been sentenced to 16 months in prison. He told police following his arrest that he had believed his brother was in danger, and had put pressure on him to find him a car.

At Ibrahim Meah’s Manchester Crown Court sentencing, his barrister, Vincent Dean, said: “He was certainly not at any stage thinking that he was allowing his brother to transport firearms about the place. He has reached 30 without having any criminal convictions, and the knowledge within the family that his younger brother was engaged in drugs led to an isolation for two years, but very foolishly, when asked for assistance, he helped him obtain the motor vehicle.

“Certainly he accepts he had knowledge of the general situation, knew his brother to be involved in drugs and in trouble, but as to the niceties, the relationship was insufficient for that degree of knowledge.”

Sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley told Ibrahim Meah: “Assisting an offender is an offence which strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system. You hired a vehicle for the use of your brother knowing full well he was on the run – you provided valuable assistance to him, he had access to a vehicle and was able to evade capture for six weeks.”

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

JAILED: Mechanic beat up Wolverhampton taxi driver who refused to take friend home

A ‘highly skilled’ motor sport mechanic has been jailed for launching a savage attack on a taxi driver when he refused to take his ‘very drunk’ colleague home.

Furious Gregory Senior hurled a glass at the taxi as it started to leave without the customer, who had collapsed after being sick during a work Christmas party, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The 42-year-old then raced across the car park to repeatedly kick and punch the driver, Mr Harvinder Singh, who had stopped to protest at the missile being thrown.

Friends quickly ushered Senior away from the fracas, leaving the bloodied victim slumped in the car with a fractured right eye socket.

Trouble flared in Warstones Drive, Penn, near the Indigo restaurant, shortly before midnight on December 4, said Mr Gareth Walters, prosecuting.

He added: “The defendant had been at an enjoyable works Christmas meal but a member of the group had drunk too much and was unwell in the restaurant. This man was taken outside where he effectively collapsed.

“A taxi was called to take him home but when the driver saw the state of the man he refused to take him and started to drive off. At this point the defendant threw a glass after him.

“The taxi drove on a little way before stopping. The driver was getting out when the defendant ran over to him and punched and kicked him.”

Self-employed Mr Singh needed an operation on the injured eye, followed by 15 hospital appointments and said the incident had cost him around £7,000 in lost wages, the court was told.

Mr Walters added: “He has suffered from flash backs, loss of sleep and anxiety when picking up passengers.”

Miss Jodie Smith, defending father-of-two-Senior, said: “He is horrified by what he has done. He is a mature, responsible man who was trying to play the role of Good Samaritan. He had been drinking sensibly but another person got so intoxicated that he passed out.

“He is horrified by what he then did. He clearly has anger management problems.”

Senior, from Rose Hill, Willenhall – whose offer of £3,000 compensation for the victim was accepted by the court – pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and was sent to prison by Judge John Wait for 14 months.

Read more at http://www.expressandstar.com/

Minicab driver Assaulted After Teens Fled Without Paying

A private-hire driver has ended up in hospital after being an assaulted in Plymouth.

The 46 year old suffered injuries to his head and face after picking up a group of teenagers from a pub on North Hill.

Police say they tried to run off without paying at Honicknowle Lane and when the driver followed one of the group, he was assaulted.

Officers are urging anyone who saw something in the early hours of Sunday to come forward.

A spokesman from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police are appealing for witnesses following an assault on a private-hire driver on Honicknowle Lane, Plymouth, at around 5am on Sunday 24th July.

“A Private-hire First blue Ford Mondeo estate picked up four teenagers near the Carpe Diem pub, North Hill around 4.50am, and drove the group to Honicknowle Lane.

“On arrival at Honicknowle Lane, all four occupants fled the private-hire without paying. The driver followed one of the group who, along with another person, proceeded to assault the private-hire driver.

“The victim, a 46 year old local man, sustained head and facial injuries which required hospital treatment.

“The four occupants of the private-hire are described as a white female aged 16 to 18 with long blonde hair, and three white men, all aged between 16 and 18 and around 5”3 in height.

“One man was of slim build wearing a black baseball cap black jacket and grey bottoms; another was wearing a black baseball cap, wearing a dark top, and carrying a black man bag. The other man wasn’t wearing a cap but was also carrying a black man bag over his shoulder.

“Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack and for any information to help the investigation.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the police on 101 or 101@dc.police.uk quoting police crime reference CR/050256/16.

You can also give information anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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

Teenagers jailed for knife and meat cleaver attacks on taxi drivers

TEENAGERS who lured taxi drivers into a series of New Year attacks and robberies have been jailed.

Ryan Costello, 18, and Anthony Graham, 19, attempted to rob four separate taxi drivers over two nights starting in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Bolton Crown Court heard how one of the drivers was so badly hurt that his life has been ruined and the teenagers are regarded as so dangerous that the court imposed an extended sentence for public protection.

Judge Richard Gioserano sentenced Costello to six years and nine months in custody and Graham to seven years and two months. They will each spend an additional three years on licence.

The court heard how the defendants called Royal Taxis in Bury asking for a taxi on what is the busiest night of the year for taxi drivers.

Javed Ahmed picked up the pair from Coronation Road, Radcliffe, taking them on a round trip to get pizza.

But on their return Costello produced a knife which he held to Mr Ahmed’s throat and shouted: “Give me your money, give me everything, give me your phone.”

Craig Macgregor, prosecuting, said: “Mr Ahmed was very scared — he could feel the sharp blade against his throat. He thought he was going to be cut. Then the blade was held to his left cheek.”

The driver managed to escape the car and scream for help, at which point the defendants ran away.

Undeterred, the teenagers then called Royal Peel Cars to Coronation Road at 4.30am and driver Abdul Anjum arrived.

While Graham asked him to open the door, Costello held up an eight inch bladed machete and “brought it down with force” towards Mr Anjum’s head.

The taxi driver was then pulled out of the car by Graham, with Mr Anjum telling the robbers to take his money.

But Graham continued to punch the victim in the head and back, laughing as he rained down blows.

“Graham was saying ‘you should be recording this’ and at this point Costello then used the machete to hit him (Mr Anjum) on his leg just below his knee,” said Mr Macgregor.

The teenagers then stole £350 before running off.

The court heard how Mr Anjum had to have an operation on his leg and, in a statement read out in court said: “I feel like this has destroyed my life. I have lost my independence and I am scared and paranoid.

“I do not trust people any more. I can walk but I have to keep stopping to rest between and it is very painful.

“I am unable to pray because I can’t kneel down and I struggle to get to the mosque. It has had a huge impact on my life.

“This incident has destroyed my plans for the future, I don’t how long it will be before I get better or if I will get better at all.”

In the early hours of the next day the pair targeted another two taxi drivers.

Mohammed Ahmed, from Swiftline Taxis, picked them up at 2.45am on Coronation Road and the court heard how Costello, sat in the back of the vehicle, was bragging about the “attempted murder” of Mr Anjum the previous night.

When the taxi stopped in Coppice Street Costello, said to have been armed with a meat cleaver, and Graham demanded money from Mr Ahmed.

The final victim was Ibrahim Ali who works for Magnum Taxis.

He was called to Mossfield Close in Bury and as the defendants got to the taxi they told him to get his money out.

Mr Ali called the police and both youths were found at a flat in the street, where police retrieved a hunting knife with an eight inch blade and a meat cleaver.

A phone was also recovered which had been used to call all four taxis.

Costello, of Coronation Road, Radcliffe and Graham, of Mossfield Close, Bury, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and wounding with intent.

The court heard how both defendants had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs when the offences were committed.

Mark Friend defending Costello said: “He is still haunted by what he did and it’s clear that the defendant has had a very difficult start in life.”

Michael Lea, defending Graham said: “He has had a troubled childhood and a troubled family background.

“He had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs which is no excuse, but that’s the position that he was in.”

Passing sentence on the teenagers, Judge Richard Gioserano said: “You, Ryan Costello, issued a merciless attack on a defenceless man, you attacked him before he had the chance to say that you could take his money.

“He was a man at night working alone providing a public service and he was outnumbered and defenceless and it had a devastating effect on his life.

“It was not an isolated attack and instead you repeatedly lured in other taxi drivers to attack them.

“One night’s violence was not enough to you two and you moved on to your next victim, leaving the last victim to live with what you did to him for the rest of his life.

“Both of you pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public.”

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

Two men injured jumping out of taxi to dodge fare lose bid to sue taxi driver

Joseph Beaumont and Lewis O’Neill, now both 24, jumped from the vehicle and suffered life changing injuries

Two teenagers injured when they jumped from a moving cab in a bid to dodge a £10 fare have had their bid to SUE the taxi driver snubbed by a judge.

Joseph Beaumont, Lewis O’Neill and four friends all decided to “jump” a cab on the evening of July 27, 2009, and cabbie David Ferrer picked them up in Salford.

They asked to be taken into town but the experienced cabbie, who was at the wheel of his Nissan Serena minivan, quickly realised what the youths were planning to do.

Mr Ferrer had been stabbed and robbed by a group of young passengers the previous year and was in fear of his life, London’s Appeal Court heard.

When he stopped on Deansgate, three of the youths leaped out and ran away – leaving Beaumont, O’Neill and an 11-year-old still inside.

Mr Ferrer said he “panicked” at the memory of being cornered in a cul-de-sac by youths the year before, stabbed twice and seriouisly injured.

It was “like deja vu”, said the cabbie who was also “justifiably aggrieved” and “understandably angry” at the attempt to rip him off.

He drove off with one of the cab’s sliding doors still open and Beaumont jumped out backwards onto the road.

O’Neill followed him out seconds later and both teenagers suffered severe, life changing head injuries.

Both men suffered severe head injuries and sued Mr Ferrer for substantial compensation stating he was negligent to drive off at speed to prevent them leaving the taxi.

Their lawyers argued that Mr Ferrer was negligent in driving off with the door open and two of his passengers not wearing seatbelts and said Mr Ferrer should have given in to the young criminals and “resigned himself to the loss of his fare”.

The case was rejected initially but was appealed at London Appeals Court,

Ruling on the case today, Lord Justice Longmore said it was “regrettably all too foreseeable” that Beaumont and O’Neill would try to get away.

Although his reluctance to lose his fare was “understandable” that was “not an excuse” for the risk Mr Ferrer took.

But the judge went on to rule that any fault on the cabbie’s part was “simply overwhelmed” by the teenagers’ recklessness and criminal intent.

Fearing attack, Mr Ferrer was in “a difficult dilemma” . He was intent on driving them to the nearest police station and the teenagers could have strapped themselves in and safely awaited justice, said the judge.

“However, each chose not to do so but rather to position himself at an opened door of the taxi and to jump out of the taxi as it was moving away.

Mum thanks hero taxi driver who saved baby’s life by clearing airways after he stopped breathing

“Neither had any legitimate reason for this deliberate and utterly reckless decision,” added the judge, sitting with Lords Justice Moore-Bick and Beatson.

The court’s decision backed up the long-established legal principle that criminals forfeit their compensation rights if they are injured in the course of illegal acts.

There were, said Lord Justice Longmore, powerful “public policy” reasons why Beaumont and O’Neill, now 24, should go uncompensated.

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

Taxi Drivers CCTV lands ‘sex attack’ liar in Jail

A woman has been sent to prison for falsely claiming a taxi driver sexually assaulted her. Claire Emma Carr, 20, from west Hull was jailed for 12 weeks after she admitted lying.

The falsely accused driver today told the Mail he could have “lost everything” if he did not have CCTV in his vehicle – which proved she was telling lies.

The 48-year-old driver picked up Carr from an address in Camelford Close, Bransholme, and took her to her home in Wesley Court, west Hull, on April 13.

He said: “It was just a normal job. I asked her where she was going, we didn’t even speak until we got to Freetown Way. Someone had been knocked off their bike and we were saying how bad it was. I dropped her off as normal, she paid me the fare, and that was that.”

The next morning, the taxi driver, who has worked in the city for 25 years, had a knock on his door from a police officer.

“It was about 8.30am,” he said. “I asked if I could help him and he said there had been an allegation of a sexual assault against me. I was absolutely mortified.”

The driver told the police officer he had CCTV cameras in his vehicle, which were checked and proved nothing had happened.

“She had told police I had made some sexual remarks to her, and that when we got to Fountain Road she said I had tried to put my hands down her trousers,” he said.

“She said she screamed and made me stop the car and ran off. Thankfully, the CCTV proved different and showed what really happened.”

The taxi driver, who has asked not to be named, said the CCTV he has inside his vehicle saved his life.

“If it wasn’t for my CCTV I could have lost everything,” he said. “I would have lost my job which is my living, I could have lost my house. Thankfully, I have got a rock-solid marriage and my wife knew she was lying, but someone else might not have been so lucky.”

The 48-year-old is now urging other drivers to install CCTV in their vehicles after he purchased the equipment himself. “It saved my life,” he said. “I dread to think what could have happened if I didn’t have this in my vehicle.”

The taxi driver described Carr as “completely normal” when he met her on April 13.

“I just don’t know what went through her head,” he said. “I believe she should be named and shamed for what she has done. Her actions undermine actual victims of sexual abuse and assault.

“There was no reason for what she did. The stress I have been under has been horrendous.”

Carr pleaded guilty to wasting police time when she appeared at Hull Magistrates’ Court on Monday. She was jailed for 12 weeks.

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Foster, of Humberside Police’s protecting vulnerable people unit, said: “We actively encourage victims of sexual assault to contact the force so they can be supported by specialist officers. Any allegation of sexual assault is then thoroughly and robustly investigated to ensure offenders are brought to justice.

“However, in cases like this, any false reports of sexual assault will not be tolerated and those responsible face being charged with wasting police time and dealt with by the courts.”

Read more: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/

Amendments to the Policing & Crime Bill



given up to and including

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Carolyn Harris
Lyn Brown
Jack Dromey
Sarah Champion

To move the following Clause—

“Prevention of child sexual exploitation and private hire vehicles

(1) The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 47(1) insert—

“(1A) A district council must carry out its functions under this section with a view to preventing child sexual exploitation”.

(3) At end of section 48 (1) insert—

“(c) a district council must carry out its functions under this section with a view to preventing child sexual exploitation”.

(4) Section 7 of the London Cab Order 1934 is amended as follows.

(5) After section 7(2) insert—

“(2A) Transport for London must carry out its functions under this section with a view to preventing child sexual exploitation.””

(6) Section 7 of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 is amended as follows.

(7) After section 7(2) insert—

“(3) The licensing authority must carry out its functions under this section with a view to preventing child sexual exploitation.””

Member’s explanatory statement

This new clause would place local authorities under a duty to consider how they can prevent child sexual exploitation when they issue licences for taxis and private hire vehicles.

Knife-wielding robber threatened to kill taxi driver

Beech Street in Accrington. Picture from Google Maps.

A TAXI driver was threatened by a knife-wielding robber in a frightening early morning attack, police said.

Detectives have issued a witness appeal following the armed robbery, which happened in Beech Street, Accrington.

Police said a taxi was called to Beech Street at 4.30am on Saturday, and when the 56-year-old driver arrived, he was threatened by a man carrying a six-inch kitchen knife.

The man is believed to have threatened the driver with the knife and said he would kill him if he didn’t hand over all his money, officers said.

As the victim tried to shut the driver door of his grey Vauxhall Vectra, the attacker leaned in to the car and tried to pull the keys from the ignition. Police said the key snapped and the attacker ran away empty-handed.

DI Mark Haworth-Oates said: “This was a terrifying incident for the driver, who was going about work. He has clearly been shaken up by the ordeal but he’s fortunate to have not suffered any serious injury.

“I would ask anyone who ordered a taxi to Beech Street at that time or if you were in the area and saw anything to get in contact with police immediately.”

The armed robber is described as a white man, 25 years old, 5ft 8in tall, wearing a dark-coloured hooded top and dark tracksuit bottoms. He was said to be clean-shaven.

DI Haworth-Oates said police are examining CCTV footage from the area and have made door-to-door enquiries.

Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said: “It’s unusual to get knife or gun crime in this area. By and large, Hyndburn is quite a safe place, but there are people who have no concern for the safety of others at all and are willing to commit atrocious acts.

“People like this need to be pursued by the police and apprehended. It’s a despicable act.

“It’s very worrying for taxi drivers, who do a lonely job.”

Barnfield ward councillor June Harrison said: “It’s appalling. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. There’s no words for it really. It’s disgusting. This was somebody just trying to do their job and he’s getting attacked.”

“It’s bad enough him being shaken up, but I’m just glad he wasn’t injured and they didn’t get any money.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting reference LC-20160305-0218.

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

Cowardly attack on Falmouth Taxi driver

AN “INNOCENT” taxi driver was assaulted by some of his six male passengers and left at the side of the road.

Police are now appealing for information following the incident on Sunday, October 28.

One of the group was wearing a tutu skirt at the time.

“I would say it’s clearly a premeditated attack on an innocent person trying to make a living as a taxi driver,” said inspector Stuart Gibbons.

“A cowardly and unprovoked attack with six of them against one bloke.”

The 48-year-old driver from the Camborne area picked up the six men in their late teens to early 20s at Tesco Express in Falmouth town centre in the early hours of Sunday, October 28. He got their fare up-front as they asked to be taken to St Austell with a drop-off at St Stephen.

Police said the taxi driver stopped on the side of the A3058 as the men became agitated. They got out and one reportedly grabbed the victim by the throat without warning and pulled him from the car before head-butting him.

Police said he was kicked while on the floor, leaving him with bruising and swelling to his eye and a bruised body. After one of the group made the others leave him alone, they all ran off.

Although they had taken the keys out of the car, the beaten driver managed to find them and drive himself home.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this or maybe one of the men who might have reflected on the actions of the group and can give us information,” said Mr Gibbons.

He added that the men are thought to be connected to a football or rugby club.

The male who head-butted the driver is described as about 6ft with dark hair, wearing a blue T-shirt.

Another, thought to be in fancy dress, was wearing a red and grey net tutu.

Call police on 101 quoting GA/12/3008 with information about this crime.

Police had no suspects as we went to press and no arrests had been made.

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

Young woman raped by private hire driver

A YOUNG woman who was raped by a private hire driver in the back of his car has spoken of her terrifying ordeal.

The 18-year-old victim and a male friend had been picked up illegally by Hadi Mohammed after enjoying a night out in Hull city centre.

The driver insisted on dropping her friend off in Bransholme before driving to her home in west Hull.

But on the way Mohammed – a bodybuilder in his spare time – pulled over, climbed into the back and carried out the horrifying attack.

After seeing Mohammed jailed for eight years following a trial at Bradford Crown Court, the woman revealed she believes he has attacked other victims and urged them to come forward.

“When he attacked me he was so confident, I don’t think I’m the first passenger he has done this to,” said the victim, who cannot be identified.

“I think there are other women out there who are victims and I would urge them to come forward. It has really helped me with the healing process.”

Mohammed had collected her and her friend in Lowgate, near North Churchside, after a night at Rumours bar.

They were waiting for another private hire vehicle they had booked when Mohammed, of Scott Street, west Hull, pulled up in his VW Passat and told them to get in. Private hire taxi drivers are only allowed to pick up pre-booked fares.

His victim said she wanted her ordeal to act as a warning to other women.

“I want other women and young girls to be aware of the dangers of getting into cabs so they never have to go through what I did,” she said.

“There are young girls out there who will just get into any taxi or car but it’s just not safe.

“I don’t want to label all drivers as being bad but women just need to be a lot more careful.

“The drivers should not be picking up passengers who haven’t booked and they shouldn’t get in the cars. It just is not safe.

“There needs to be tougher penalties for drivers who don’t stick to the rules to make it safer for passengers.

“Since this happened I cannot get taxis alone, I don’t feel safe.

“I always make sure I’m with my friends. I only use cab firms I know.

“I just want other women to make sure they learn from this and don’t get into cabs alone.”

Mohammed, who had worked for taxi firm 60-60-60 since August last year, used a condom during the attack.

He threw it out of the car window and police were able to trace it to him using DNA evidence.

Mohammed, an Iraqi Kurd who came to Hull in 2000, was caught because his DNA had been placed on the police national database following previous convictions for driving without a licence in the city.

Detective Constable Neil Kitching, who led the investigation, said: “He orchestrated it to get her on her own.

“He was in a position of trust as a taxi driver and he abused that trust. It was a calculated attack.

“He is a sexual predator and I believe he has used his position as a taxi driver and his position of trust to prey on this young woman when she was in a vulnerable and intoxicated state.

“It is worrying that, as a taxi driver, he has had access to lots of intoxicated people and he has acted in this way.

“He has made an opportunity for himself by getting rid of her male companion so she was alone in the car with him.”

The girl, who bravely gave evidence against Mohammed to secure his conviction, added: “I’m over the moon with the sentence.

“It has been the worst experience of my life but the police have supported me all the way through it and I’m so glad I came to court and gave evidence.

Shabir Hussain, manager at 60-60-60 taxis, said: “This is a very unfortunate incident.

“No driver can work for us without a CRB check by the police. We took all necessary precautions that you can take before employing someone.

“I’m glad he’s been jailed. He deserves everything he gets and that’s all I can say.”

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