A black cab driver who raped two women over a decade ago was finally jailed today for 22 years.
Shipu Ahmed, 36, was only caught after he was arrested for domestic violence in September last year.
At the time of the rapes, in 2007, black cab drivers in Luton had been asked to give a voluntary DNA sample so they could be eliminated from the enquiry.
Ahmed, of Luton, did not give a sample and this was not followed up by the police, said prosecutor Sally Hobson at his trial at Luton crown court. He had pleaded not guilty to raping a 15 year old girl on 30 November 2007 and a 22 year old woman on 15 December 2007.
He was convicted by a jury on both charges and reappeared today for sentence via a video link from Bedford prison.
The court heard he pulled the 15-year-old girl out of his black cab at night and raped her at a secluded spot, Totternhoe Knolls in Bedfordshire.
Just after two weeks later, he raped the woman in the back of the cab in Lewsey Farm, Luton after collecting her from a Dunstable nightclub.
Ms Hobson told the jury: ‘This defendant was arrested for the first time in his life in September last year for an unrelated matter of domestic violence.
‘That was not proceeded with, but his DNA was sent to a database and two matches relating to this case came up.’
Ahmed said he believed the 15-year-old was 18 or 19 and had wanted to have sex with her as soon as she met him.
He said the older woman had offered him sex because she could not pay his fare. Asked by the police in an interview why he believed he had been targeted, he said it was because he was an Asian taxi driver.
Ms Hobson said that the 15-year-led had been drinking lager with friends and at around 10.30pm at night had an argument and walked off alone towards Cow Lane, Edlesborough.
She said: ‘She decided to return to her friends and saw that a taxi had dropped off a fare. The taxi was being driven by the defendant, who asked if she wanted a lift.
‘She said she had money, but he said: “Don’t worry. It will be free”. ‘She asked him to take her back to her friends in Edlesborough, but he headed off in the direction of Totternhoe.
He said he was going to turn round, but didn’t.’ The prosecutor said at the picnic area at Totternhoe Knolls, he stopped. He was wearing gloves and pulled her by her arm from the taxi.
It is alleged Ahmed pulled down her trousers, and her underwear came down at the same time. She went on: ‘She struggled and tried to push him away.
She lay in a state of shock. He pulled down his jeans. He put a condom on. She was unable to move through fear or shock.’
It is alleged he raped her, discarding the condom at the site. He is then said to have driven her back to Cow Lane where she met a friend and said: ‘I have been raped by a taxi driver’.
A pink condom was found at the site by the police. The second woman was said to be very drunk when she left Cubes nightclub in Dunstable in the early hours of 15 December 2007. She and a man, who she knew, got into the defendant’s taxi.
They were to go to the man’s home, where he would collect his car and drive her home to Luton.
Ms Hobson said that while the man went to get his car keys, the defendant drove off with the woman. She said: ‘She (the 22 year old) was in the back and her head was spinning. She was half laid on back seat. She had been sick in her hands.
‘He stopped and got into back of cab. She was so heavily intoxicated she could not move. She was unable to speak. The defendant took advantage of the situation.’ It was alleged he raped her without a condom, before dropping her off in Lewsey Farm, Luton.
As he left, she shouted: ‘You bastard. You raped me’. DNA swabs were taken from the woman. Today Ms Hobson read the judge victim personal statements from the women. The younger woman said she was now a mother and had moved on. At the time of the rape she said she felt nobody believed her.
The second woman said she had expected Ahmed to plead guilty. She said she suffered stress, night terrors and mood swings because of the court case, which had put a strain on her relationship with her partner.