Uber driver convicted for raping passenger
An Uber driver, Mustak Ahmad Abdulhai Mulla, has been jailed for raping a woman on her journey home after picking her up from her hotel.
Mulla collected the woman then stopped on a side road and raped her on the back seat before taking her home.
Detective Constable Gemma Rimmer of Nottinghamshire Police commended the victim for her bravery in coming forward stating,
“I’d like to commend the victim for her bravery in coming forward and for trusting us to investigate her report. She played a vital part in Mulla’s conviction, and we hope this result brings her some closure. I also hope our work in this case reassures other victims that they can feel confident about coming forward and that Nottinghamshire Police treats rape and sexual assault extremely seriously.
We will always do everything in our power to make sure predatory offenders like Mulla are held to account and victims are offered the support they need by specially trained officers.
We understand that victims of these offences are often coming to us for help at the most difficult time in their lives and I want them to know that we will listen carefully to them, they will be taken seriously, we will investigate and do everything we can to get justice for them.”
Following his conviction Mulla was sentenced to eight years and four months imprisonment and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
After Mulla’s conviction Uber issued a statement saying “We are appalled by this case and have a zero-tolerance policy on any such behaviour. As soon as we were made aware we immediately removed the driver permanently from our platform. We encourage every rider to speak up and report any wrongdoing to the police, who we work closely with.”
In 2019 a report revealed that Uber had received almost 6000 sexual assault allegations in the previous two years in the US. Similar statistics were not released in the UK. In November 2019 Transport for London denied Uber a licence however, Uber successfully appealed against the decision and was granted an 18 month licence. In doing so, the deputy chief magistrate said he had taken Uber’s “track record of regulation breaches into account” but also recognised the efforts that the company had made to address failings and had improved standards. Last year Uber was granted a 30-month licence in London.
I am sure it took a lot of courage for Mulla’s victim to come forward and I hope that she feels some satisfaction that he is now behind bars. Abuse like the horrific rape that took place in this case often has a devasting impact on an individual’s life and I hope that now the criminal hearing is over she can focus on her wellbeing and recovery.
Whilst the criminal hearing has now concluded, Uber could also face civil proceedings. As Mulla was working for Uber at the time of the assault it could be argued that they should be held vicariously liable for his actions. In order to be found vicariously liable it would be necessary to show that Mulla was employed or in a relationship akin to employment and that the rape that occurred was closely connected with that employment relationship. In my experience civil claims can help survivors in holding institutions to account and also helping survivors to obtain vital funds to access the treatment they need to support their recovery.
I have extensive experience in acting for survivors of abuse and if anyone would like to discuss any of the above further, I am happy to do so.