A 25-year-old man named Atila Ardic was sentenced to 30 months in prison at the Wood Green Crown Court on Wednesday, the 30th of September. Ardic pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault at the same court back in July.
Atila Ardic of Brownswood Road, Hackney, is a sexual predator who posed as a minicab driver to lure his victims into a trap. In addition to his prison sentence, Ardic will also be given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and is prohibited from applying to be a licensed private hire driver or taxi driver with any authority within the regions of England and Wales, according to the Metropolitan Police. He will also be registered on the Sex Offenders Register for five years after he is released from prison.
The crimes were investigated by the Met’s Taxi and Private Hire Policing Team, who learned that Ardic was driving a cab vehicle illegally, even though he was not authorized to operate a cab. Ardic reportedly drove the streets of Islington late at night looking for drunk and vulnerable women to attack. In one case, he picked up a woman in her 30s on Upper Street and claimed that he was her personal driver. The woman fell asleep in the back of the cab, and then woke up in a secluded area of Waterloo, where Ardic was forcing himself onto her. She managed to fight herself free from the situation and fled the cab for help. She left her purse behind, and then reported the incident.
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Shortly after that incident, Ardic struck again while driving the same vehicle around Stoke Newington, where he found a woman in her early 20s. She got into the car thinking that it was her rideshare driver. In the second case, the woman also fell asleep in the back of the vehicle, and also woke up in the middle of the attack. The only difference was the location. This time, Ardic pulled the woman to a secluded road in Islington. She was also able to fight herself free after Ardic began touching her, and she got away from the scene.
After an extensive investigation that took several months, forensic evidence was collected from the women’s clothing, and they were able to track down one of the electronic devices that were left in his car. With that information, they were able to identify Ardic’s phone by associating the GPS coordinates because the phones were close together. They also used CCTV footage of the locations where the pick-ups and assaults occurred to identify the vehicle that he was driving at the time.
He was finally arrested for the sexual assaults and various other offences relating to the assaults back in January 2018, but faced a lengthy trial that concluded this week.
Police Constable Jonny Harris, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said that, “Today’s sentencing reflects the seriousness of Ardic’s offending. There were a number of aggravating factors considered in this sentencing, despite Ardic’s guilty plea. The most prominent being the abuse of trust and the planning of these horrible assaults.”
Authorities have warned anyone taking a minicab or rideshare to always make sure that they are getting in the correct vehicle.