A Hamilton taxi driver who covered up his taxi’s CCTV camera has been found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting two teenage passengers.
A jury of eight women and four men today took three-and-a-half hours to find Dial-A-Cab owner/driver Abdirahim Sheikh Mohamed Guled guilty on one charge of abduction, rape, unlawful sexual connection and performing an indecent act on a 14-year-old girl.
Guled, 31, appeared slightly shocked before composing himself as each of the guilty verdicts were read out.
The charges result from two separate incidents in Hamilton last year.
The first involved a 19-year-old woman who was picked up by Guled at the intersection of Bridge and Victoria Sts on March 8.
The victim told the jury that Guled pulled over and offered her a free ride, but part way along the journey he took a detour and headed to the isolated area of Riverlea Dr.
She admitted having sex with Guled but said that she was forced to after Guled turned to her and said that the ride wasn’t free and he would abandon her if she didn’t comply.
The jury had to decide what was meant by the various text messages the victim sent – to Guled, her stepmother and her friends.
One of her first texts to Guled included a smiley face, yet straight afterwards she texted her stepmother stating something “really shitty had just happened”.
Later that morning she texted a friend stating a taxi driver had offered her a free ride, “but it turned out he was kidding, LOL”.
The second incident involved strikingly similar circumstances.
Guled pulled over and offered the 14-year-old a ride, despite her saying she had no money. After buying her cigarettes he also took her to Riverlea Dr and got into the back seat and touched her leg, before they were interrupted by a security guard who had been alerted by police to the earlier incident.
Judge Barney Thomas convicted Guled on all charges and remanded him in custody for sentencing in February.
He was also issued a first strike warning as all of the charges were qualifying violence offences.