A woman who was attacked by a sexual predator posing as a taxi driver said she could not even walk from her car to her front door on her own after it happened.
Raja Gulraiz, 48, of Harwell Road in Sheffield, has been found guilty of attempted rape and sexual assault after a trial at Leeds Crown Court and on Monday was jailed for 11 years.
The court heard Gulraiz targeted the woman in Castleford in June 2021, when he parked his Toyota Yaris close to a taxi rank and told the vulnerable woman he was a cab driver. She got into his car and he committed the sexual offences during the journey to her home.
Jurors heard how sick Gulraiz had been linked to a similar offence in the town in 2018.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “Prior to this I wouldn’t think twice about walking home alone at night, walking my dog or even getting into a taxi. I enjoyed my own company and I would always see the good in people, so it would never enter my head that people would be deceiving.
“I still have a lot of triggers. I no longer walk anywhere at night. I can’t go down a certain street and until recently I couldn’t even walk from my car to my front door without asking my mum or my partner to be waiting at door for me. This incident has impacted every aspect of my life on a daily basis and has changed me to someone whom I don’t want to be…I grieve that person I once was.”
Following the sentence, Superintendent Phil Jackson of West Yorkshire Police, said: “The victim has shown immense bravery in reporting what happened to her and the further courage to put her trust in the criminal justice system.
“It cannot be underestimated how hard it will have been for her to stand up in front of her attacker in court and relive the ordeal that he subjected her to. She has done this in the hope that she can stop what happened to her from happening to someone else. I hope that this conviction also helps give other victims the confidence to come forward.
“Gulraiz has failed to accept responsibility for his actions. The investigation team have worked tirelessly to ensure he has been brought to justice.
“We are committed to protecting woman and girls from violence and sexual violence. This conviction has ensured that a dangerous predator is now behind bars and will have conditions on him in the future to protect others from harm.”
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