Edinburgh taxi driver jailed for rape of teenager

High Court, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPLHigh Court, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
High Court, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
A TAXI driver who lured a 14-year-old schoolgirl to an empty flat and raped her has been jailed for more than five years.

Mohammad Ashraf, 53, told the teenager that he was taking her to Edinburgh in his cab because he wanted to buy her something. The girl thought they were going shopping but Ashraf took her instead to the flat.

Jailing Ashraf, Judge John Morris QC told him: “You have pled guilty to a very serious sexual assault on a child to whom you owed a duty of care.

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“This crime has had a devastating effect on the young girl. Had you not pled guilty when you did, thus saving the young girl from giving evidence, the sentence would have been six years.”

Ashraf, of Netherbank, Liberton, south Edinburgh, admitted raping the girl at a flat in Edinburgh in 2012.

Defence QC Frances McMenamin said that Ashraf took the girl to the flat to talk about a large mobile phone bill she had run up by calling premium numbers on a phone he had given her.

Ms McMenamin added: “The temptation to him of being alone with the girl grew too much and this incident took place.”

The QC said that the Ashrafs came to the UK in the 1980s and stated that his family were standing by him. However, she added: “The shame and dishonour that this has brought on him is perhaps a greater punishment than anything the court can do.”

Ms McMenamin also said that media coverage of the case was, “given the culture from which he comes, an additional devastation.”

Advocate depute David Taylor said the girl told Ashraf that she wanted to leave and that her family would be wondering where she was. But Ashraf ignored her protests and pushed her down and lay on top of her.

The advocate depute said: “She could not get him off, he was too big for her to move.

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“He told her the quicker she enjoyed what he was doing and the quicker she got in a good mood, the quicker he would let her go home. The victim kept on asking him if she could go home. He replied ‘No’.”

Mr Taylor said the girl told him to stop and pushed him away before Ashraf told her to “kiss me downstairs”.

“She said she did not want to. The accused told her that he would only let her go home if she did this,” added Mr Taylor.

The prosecutor said that after the assault, Ashraf appeared “annoyed” with the victim and asked her what she would tell her family.

“She told him that she would say that they had been shopping,” he added.

After the girl got home she went straight to her room and sent a text message to her sister, who returned home five minutes later.

The court heard that Ashraf’s DNA was found on swabs taken from the girl, and that her DNA had been present on swabs from him.

Ashraf admitted assaulting and orally raping the teenager on 16 November, 2012.

The court heard that he had owned businesses, but they had collapsed in 2009.

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