Calgary cab driver convicted of sexual assault fails to show for sentencing

1 / 2
Calgary cab driver convicted of sexual assault fails to show for sentencing

A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a Calgary cab driver who failed for show for sentencing after being convicted of sexual assault on a passed-out fare.

Muhammad Nadeem Irshad, 37, was convicted June 25 and was due in court Friday for sentencing.

He is described as being five feet 10 inches and 195 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Irshad was convicted of sexual assault after forcing a passed-out fare to perform oral sex on him in the back of his cab in 2014.

Calgary Police Service

The woman — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — had been picked up after partying downtown during Stampede week.

The victim, in her 20s at the time of the assault, memorized Irshad's licence plate and called police after she woke up to being assaulted in the back of the taxi.

The victim testified that she collapsed on the floor of her bedroom after returning home, crying on the floor and feeling "in shock and ashamed and sad."

The woman's boyfriend had been sleeping and woke up and called police, who arrived and initiated an investigation.

The licence plate was a match to the cab driven by Irshad.

Travelled to Pakistan

Last month, Irshad was supposed to appear in court for a sentencing hearing. At that time, prosecutor Melissa Bond and defence lawyer David Chow appeared before Justice Michele Hollins and indicated that not only had Irshad missed a pre-sentence psychiatric assessment appointment, he had also travelled to Pakistan to visit family.

Chow indicated to the judge that he believed his client had every intention of returning to Canada before his next court appearance. To ensure he was back in the country for that date, the judge ordered that Irshad appear on Nov. 8 to ensure he had made up the missed appointment and would be ready for the sentencing hearing. Bond also requested that Irshad surrender his passport at that time.

Irshad never showed up, however. After asking to be removed as counsel of record, Chow is no longer representing Irshad. 

Anyone with information on Irshad's whereabouts is asked to call Calgary police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.