Terrifying moment fake taxi driver lures woman into his car before raping her

26 January 2023, 21:28

Yuseab Woldeab
Yuseab Woldeab. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

By Kit Heren

This is the chilling moment a rapist posed as a taxi driver to lure an unsuspecting woman into his car and attack her.

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Yuseab Woldeab, 27, from Wilton Street in Plymouth, was jailed for 18 years for two counts of rape and one count of kidnap.

CCTV footage shows a Ford van driving alongside the woman, in her 20s, as she made her way home from a night out in the early hours of April 25 last year.

The van pulls up alongside the victim, who was especially vulnerable as she had been drinking, and offers his services as a 'taxi driver'.

He then took her back to his house, put her into his bed and raped her. She managed to get away soon after, message a friend and call the police.

A man who kidnapped and raped a woman after pretending to be a taxi driver has been jailed today

Woldeab was identified and charged, before being remanded in custody.

He was found guilty and sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court.

DS Chris Kinski of the Sexual Offences Investigation Team said: “This was a truly horrendous and disturbing crime.

“Woldeab could see that the victim was vulnerable as she was intoxicated. He used this entirely to his advantage when approaching her that night. We believe he had been prowling the streets looking for a victim prior to spotting her.

“I wish to thank the victim for her incredible bravery in coming forward and reporting this to us. We know that this was no easy task and that she was fearful of not being believed, however, we take all reports of this nature extremely seriously and are whole heartedly committed to supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

Yuseab Woldeab
Yuseab Woldeab. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police

“I have no doubt that what happened that night will stay with the victim forever. I hope this sentencing can provide her with some sense of closure so that she can move on with the same courage and determination that she has shown throughout this process.

“We would urge anyone suffering in silence to come forward. As this case shows, you will be believed and supported and together we will hold offenders to account for their crimes.”

Rebecca Sutherland, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South West, said: “This was a shocking case in which the defendant deliberately targeted and abducted a lone, vulnerable young woman before subjecting her to an appalling attack.

“Woldeab pleaded not guilty to kidnap and two counts of rape but, thanks to excellent work from the police investigative team and the bravery of the victim in telling her story, the CPS was able to build a compelling case that saw the jury convict on all three charges.

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“The CPS is working closely with our partners in the police to develop closer joint working on rape investigations to drive up the number of successful prosecutions and deliver justice for victims.

"We want every victim to have the confidence that their case will be fully investigated by the police and that, in every case where our legal tests are met, the Crown Prosecution Service will charge and prosecute.”

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