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Warning as bogus cab driver is jailed for rape


Police today renewed a Christmas warning to women about the dangers of unlicensed minicabs after a bogus driver was jailed for nine years for
raping a teenage partygoer.

Marcos De Souza, 32, was trapped because his DNA was held on file even though he had no criminal record. The Brazilian had lured the drunken 19-year-old into his car as she left a house party in Camden in February.

The victim was so drunk the sex predator believed she would never remember what was about to happen to her, Inner London crown court heard. But when she arrived home dishevelled, her boyfriend encouraged her to call police and De Souza’s DNA was found after tests. The sex predator was traced because police had taken his DNA when he was arrested after a previous girlfriend claimed he had assaulted her. The case was discontinued but his profile was retained on the national database.

De Souza was arrested two months after the rape when he went to report a car break-in. Investigators put his name into the database and were stunned to discover he was a wanted man and arrested him.

Jurors found him guilty at a retrial after a previous jury had been unable to agree a verdict. As a result De Souza, who had denied rape and claimed the young woman was a willing participant, forced her to relive her ordeal twice.

On his release he will face deportation and has to sign the sex offender register indefinitely. Outside court detective constable Richard Huggins, of Lambeth’s Sapphire Unit, said: "Mr De Souza’s conviction, particularly in the run-up to the Christmas party season when people are enjoying a drink, highlights the dangers of getting into unlicensed minicabs. Always book a cab using a licensed company as it is not worth the risk."

Transport for London’s Cabwise recommends storing 60835 in mobiles and texting CAB for details of local firms.


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