An Uber driver who groped a female passenger while she vomited out the door of his cab has been jailed.
Temur Shah, 45, sexually assaulted the 27-year-old woman after picking her up from London’s West End in the early hours of January 25, 2018.
Isleworth Crown Court heard the driver’s passenger said she felt unwell during the journey when Shah stopped the car and asked her to move into the front seat.
When she told him she was about to vomit, he stopped a second time and leaned over to open the door when he put his hand under her bra.
He then continued the assault, touching her genital area over her clothes, while she was sick into the gutter.
Afterwards the woman told Shah not to touch her, but was forced to stay inside the vehicle as she had no money or battery on her phone to call for help.
She reported the incident to police after she was dropped off near her home.
Kate Blumgart, prosecuting, said that since the incident the victim had difficulty getting into taxis and was fearful that Shah knew where she lived.
"She recently had a panic attack in a mini-cab with her husband. She found it difficult to tell her parents of the incident, as it made her feel 'more guilty than she already did'," said Ms Blumgart.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's taxi and private hire policing team used a combination of CCTV and GPS data from Uber to identify Shah as the suspect, and he was arrested in February 2018.
He was charged and convicted of sexual assault in January 2019, following a trial that lasted one week.
Hugh D'Aguilar, defending, told the court that Shah was "fearful of going to prison" as he looked after his three children and his elderly mother during the day while his wife was at work.
Shah's mother sat in court alongside other members of his family, who wept as the sentence was read out.
Judge Nicholas Wood said that the offence was aggravated by the fact that it had taken place in the early hours of the morning in an area of London that the victim did not know.
"As she herself said 'what was she to do?' Her escape route was very limited," he said.
Judge Wood added that he was mindful of the effect that a custodial sentence would have on Shah's family, but that time in prison was unavoidable.
"You had a young woman in your trust, in your cab, late at night. She was utterly defenceless as she turned away from you facing the gutter," he said.
Shah, of Harrow, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.
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