Man jailed for sexually assaulting unconscious woman in taxi and paying off driver

·3 min read
Taxi driver Jojo Joseph Thirunilam (L) and Omed Khalid Mahmood. (Greater Manchester Police)
Taxi driver Jojo Joseph Thirunilam (L) and Omed Khalid Mahmood. (Greater Manchester Police)

A man who paid off a taxi driver in order to sexually assault an unconscious teenager in the back seat has been jailed for nine years.

Omed Khalid Mahmood, 40, of Wigan, later dragged the teenager from the cab and continued to sexually assault her at his home, Bolton Crown Court heard.

On Tuesday, Mahmood was found guilty of attempted rape, sexual assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault in connection to the offences at his address after denying them.

He admitted to attempted rape and four counts of sexual assault in the taxi last October.

Taxi driver Jojo Joseph Thirunilam, 49, of Warrington, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding Mahmood to commit the sexual offences.

The court heard that he had watched from the front and made licking gestures with his tongue as Mahmood sexually assaulted the teenager.

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General view of Bolton Crown Court, Bolton.
The pair were jailed at Bolton Crown Court. (PA)

Mahmood had been in a club in Warrington in the early hours on Sunday 31 October last year.

He later approached an 18-year-old woman and walked with her to a nearby taxi rank.

At approximately 5am, CCTV footage showed Mahmood pulling her towards a taxi as she tried to walk away.

The taxi was initially bound for Liverpool, but Mahmood signalled to driver Thirunilam to turn the vehicle round once the victim had fallen asleep.

He could be seen handing bank notes to Thirunilam before the taxi turned around and headed towards Mahmood’s home address.

The journey lasted for an hour and during this time, the victim was repeatedly sexually assaulted while unconscious.

The taxi arrived at Mahmood’s address shortly after 6am where he forcefully pulled the victim from the vehicle.

Once inside Mahmood’s flat, he sexually assaulted her while she was in and out of consciousness.

Nearly two hours later, the victim managed to leave the flat while Mahmood slept and was in a distressed state in an unfamiliar area, the court heard.

She made it to a nearby shop and raised the alarm and police were contacted.

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There was no previous association between Mahmood and Thirunilam before the incident and they were not known to one another, police said.

Thirunilam was made to sign onto the Sexual Offender Register and his taxi licence was suspended by the council.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Devine, from GMP’s Wigan CID, said: “Mahmood is a sexual predator and his monstrous actions that saw him prey on a vulnerable young woman are absolutely unspeakable.

He added: “Thirunilam could have helped the victim and prevented the sexual assaults from happening in his vehicle, but instead he chose to watch and encourage Mahmood despite not even knowing him.”

Police forces in England and Wales recorded the highest number of rapes and sexual offences in a 12-month period in the year to September.

Meanwhile, the proportion of suspects being taken to court has fallen to a new record low and remains the lowest for rape cases.

A report by MPs last month concluded that survivors of rape are "being failed by our criminal justice system".

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