Hunt for witness driver after rape claim in taxi

Police are appealing for information. Picture: TSPL

Police are appealing for information. Picture: TSPL

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POLICE are desperately trying to trace a taxi driver who may have witnessed a rape in the back of his black cab.

The devastated 23-year-old woman was allegedly attacked by a man in the rear of the Hackney cab after they were picked up together near the Cav nightclub in Tollcross.

Detectives believe the driver may be a key witness in the case as he drove the pair from the city to Ormiston, East Lothian.

Officers hope that the “distinctive” fare and the victim’s black and white polka dot dress may jog the driver’s memory and prompt him to come

forward.

A month-long hunt for the driver, which has included contacting cab firms and scouring CCTV, has so far drawn a blank.

The inquiry team said they are following a “positive line of inquiry” in relation to the man reported to have been involved.

However, Detective Inspector Carol Craig said it was essential for their inquiries that they trace the missing cabbie.

She said: “We received a report of a rape on June 6 from a woman after she had been in the Cav nightclub on May 31 in the company of friends and a male.

“It appears she became separated from her friends but remained with the male. They were seen leaving the club at 3.20am on June 1.

“She remembers they flagged down a taxi in the Tollcross area. Despite extensive inquiries, we’ve been unable to establish exactly where that was.

“During the journey, the female has reported that a rape was committed by the male in the back of the taxi. She phoned her friend at 4.15am in a distressed state. That is 50 minutes after she left the club.

“The actual route taken by the taxi from Tollcross to Ormiston has not been established. We’ve done extensive inquiries in contacting taxi companies and linking in with our cab office to try and trace the driver. So far that’s proved negative.

“It would be a significant fare to Ormiston, perhaps costing more than £35, so we hope that is distinctive. The woman was also wearing a distinctive black and white polka dot dress and a grey hoodie.”

The inquiry team is working to trace 62 independent black cab drivers to try and eliminate them as potential witnesses.

DI Craig added: “Until we speak to the driver, it would be speculation what he may have seen. That’s why we need to speak to him.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In March, a 14-year-old girl was raped by two men on a First bus in Glasgow city centre. The bus company later said the bus driver did not know the attack had taken place.

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