Uber Driver Jailed For Sexually Assaulting 'Utterly Defenseless' Woman As She Leaned Out of Car to Vomit

An Uber driver has been jailed for more than a year for sexually assaulting an "utterly defenseless" woman as she leaned out of his car to vomit.

Temur Shah, 45, had picked up the 27-year-old woman, who was feeling unwell, in the West End of London in the early hours of January 15, 2018, London's Metropolitan Police said.

During the journey, Shah stopped the vehicle and insisted the woman sit in the front passenger seat. Later, when the woman said she was going to be sick, he stopped to open the front passenger door.

Isleworth Crown Court heard Shah sexually assaulted her as she was leaning out of the vehicle while being sick.

The woman was forced to remain in the car as she had no money and no battery on her phone to call for help, police said, but she told Shah not to touch her again. The woman reported the incident to police after Shah dropped her off her her home in North London.

Shah was charged with sexual assault in January after an investigation by police, who spoke to Uber and the person who booked the ride on the victim's behalf. They also reviewed CCTV footage and GBP data from Uber.

Shah, of Harrow in Greater London, was found guilty of sexual assault after a week-long trial last month.

He was sentenced to 16 months in prison by Judge Nicholas Wood on Monday, The Mirror reported. "You had a young woman in your trust, in your cab, late at night. She was utterly defenseless as she turned away from you facing the gutter," Wood told Shah during the sentencing, according to the newspaper.

In a statement to Newsweek, Transport for London's head of transport policing and community safety Mandy McGregor described Shah's attack as "predatory and disgusting." She confirmed immediate action was taken to prevent Shah from continuing to work as a licensed private hire driver.

"This attack on a vulnerable passenger was predatory and disgusting and we are pleased to see that Shah has been sentenced," she said. "I would like to thank the young woman for coming forward and reporting this so TfL (Transport for London) and the police could investigate and take action against the driver."

Temur Shah
Temur Shah, 45, has been jailed for 16 months after sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman he picked up in London, U.K., in January 2018. Metropolitan Police

She added: "We expect the highest standards from TfL licensed taxi and private hire drivers. Not only has Shah received a 16 month prison sentence but immediate licensing action was taken to prevent him from continuing in his role as a TfL licensed private hire driver."

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed to Newsweek that as well as having his private hire license stripped by TfL, Shah has been permanently banned from using the Uber app. The company only works with licensed drivers in the U.K.

"We are appalled by this case and have a zero tolerance policy on any such behaviour in the Uber community," the spokeswoman said. "Any driver found to have behaved in this manner faces permanent removal from the app. We encourage every rider to speak up and report any wrongdoing to the police and TfL, both of whom we work closely with."

Metropolitan Police's Detective Superintendent Andy Cox added: "Shah despicably took advantage of his position as a trusted licensed driver and sexually assaulted a passenger in a vulnerable state. His conviction was down to a meticulous investigation which left the jury in no doubt as to his guilt.

"If you ever experience unwanted sexual behaviour, report it to the police. You will always be taken seriously and the incident will be fully investigated."