Man who posed as taxi driver jailed for 22 years after kidnapping and sexually assaulting women

Thasawar Iqbal, from the Birmingham area, will serve a minimum of 17 years Credit: West Midlands Police

A man has been jailed for 22 years after he kidnapped and sexually assaulted two young women while pretending to be a a taxi driver in Birmingham.

Thasawar Iqbal, from the Birmingham area, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday 26 May, for the offences which happened in December 2021 and July 2022.

He will serve a minimum of 17 years.

The 41-year-old offered the first woman a lift home from Birmingham City Centre in the early hours of 19 December 2021.

West Midlands Police confirmed Iqbal drove the woman to an unknown location, while he was consuming drugs and alcohol.

He offered the woman the substances, but she refused.

He made sexual advances towards her before stopping at a house. He attempted to take the woman inside but she managed to escape and hide.

He was later arrested and bailed.   

While on bail, in the early hours of 10 July 2022, Iqbal picked up another woman from Birchfield Road as she walked alone, blocking her path and offering her a lift which she initially refused. 

Police said Iqbal continued to follow the woman and persuaded her that he was a taxi driver and would get her home safely. 

Iqbal took the woman to a local pub carpark where he sexually assaulted her.

He then offered to drop her home and asked for her phone number. 

Instead, the woman agreed to have Iqbal’s number. She later called the police and Iqbal was subsequently arrested and charged.

Iqbal was found guilty on 18 January this year of several offences including kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence, sexual assault and rape.

He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the offences on 26 May.

Detective Constable Soniya Ram from West Midlands Police specialist Public Protection Unit, said:

"Iqbal is a predatory sexual offender.  Although an opportunist his actions were persistent and pre-planned, posing as a taxi driver to pick up young vulnerable women, driving them to locations of his choice and sexually abusing them. 

"He put both women through such fear and sexual violence, completely disregarding the fact he was already being investigated when he committed further offences in July last year.  

“The women endured traumatic ordeals but bravely came forward to recount what happened to them to help us apprehend him.

"With the help of the Crown Prosecution Service we remanded him in custody from July 2022 to prevent others becoming victims.

"Iqbal’s conviction is testament to both women’s courageous actions and, thankfully, he is now off the streets and will be behind bars for a long time.”