Taxi driver jailed after assaulting female passenger
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A taxi driver who sexually assaulted a young woman has been jailed – thanks to the quick-thinking and tenacity of his victim.
Khalil Lali, aged 44, targeted the woman after picking her up from a night out in Nottingham city centre on 20 September 2022.
As his passenger sat in the front seat, Lali repeatedly grabbed her hand and forcefully held it on the front of his trousers.
The woman fled the vehicle near her home but was able to record a brief video showing the make of her attacker’s car and its numberplate.
Lali was arrested the following morning and denied the allegations against him – even claiming in one police interview that his victim had initiated the contact in lieu of payment.
This story, however, was contradicted by damning CCTV evidence showing that the contact had occurred much earlier in the journey as he drove through the city centre.
Lali, of Austen Avenue, Forest Fields, denied a single charge of sexual assault but was found guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.
Appearing at the same venue on Friday (15 September) Lali was jailed for three years and four months.
Detective Constable Rory Greer, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was an appalling attack by a man who – as a licensed taxi driver – was in a position of trust over his victim.
“Lali clearly thought he could behave in this way without consequence but hadn’t reckoned on the quick-thinking and tenacity of his victim.
“Although she was understandably distraught at what had happened to her, she still had the presence of mind to record crucial details of Lali’s vehicle that allowed us to place him at the scene. She really did an amazing job and I am full of admiration for her.
“I am pleased that Lali has been bought to justice and won’t be able to target any other women in this way in the future.
“I also hope this case serves to encourage other victims of sexual assaults to come forward. We will investigate and will take positive action to protect the public from harm.”