Sexual predator who posed as cab driver to assault two women jailed

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A sexual predator who posed as a minicab driver to prey on drunk and vulnerable women on the streets of north London has been jailed for 30 months.

Atila Ardic, 25, rented a car while banned from driving and drove around in the early hours of the morning looking for potential victims.

He claimed to be a licensed minicab driver when picking up a woman in her thirties in Upper Street, Islington in December 2017, offering her a ride home from a Christmas party.

The woman, who had been drinking, fell asleep in the back of the car and woke up to find Ardic had pulled into a secluded area of Waterloo.

He clambered into the back seat and sexually assaulted the woman, before she wrestled herself free and fled while leaving her purse behind.

Ardic struck again the next day, touring the streets of Stoke Newington before picking up a woman in her twenties who believed his car was the minicab she had hired.

She also fell asleep in the back of the car and awoke to find Ardic sexually assaulting her, having parked in a quiet street in Islington.

The woman pushed and kicked Ardic to break free before fleeing from the car.

Both victims promptly reported the driver to police, but the investigation was initially hampered as the women were unable to provide specific details to help identify their attacker.

The Met’s Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team linked the attacks and eventually discovered Ardic had fraudulently rented the car through a French company using false details. Officers also discovered he had used the first victim’s bank card after she had fled from his clutches.

He was eventually snared after a painstaking investigation, thanks to forensic evidence on the women’s clothes, data on Ardic’s phone, CCTV snapshots, and GPS evidence stored by the rented car.

Ardic, from Finsbury Park, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault, theft, and fraud, and he was sentenced on Wednesday at Wood Green crown court to 30 months in prison.

PC Jonny Harris, who led the investigation, said: “There were a number of aggravating factors considered in this sentencing, despite Ardic’s guilty plea. The most prominent being the abuse of trust and the planning of these horrible assaults.

“This conviction would not have been possible without these young women coming forward to the police. Both showed great courage and a great deal of patience throughout a lengthy investigation.”

Ardic will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order when released from prison and is banned from applying to be a licensed private hire driver or taxi driver in England and Wales.

He will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for five years once released from prison.