One of the victims of Mohamad Caid, the illegal cab driver who preyed on young gay men leaving a London nightclub, has spoken out about his experience.
John (not his real name) was raped by Caid in May after leaving Heaven nightclub. A 19-year-old victim had been sexually assaulted by him five days earlier.
Caid was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and false imprisonment at Woolwich crown court yesterday. He was warned by the judge he would receive a “substantial” prison sentence.
John, 18, was out on his first night of clubbing in London when the attack happened.
He explained: “When it came to leaving the club, a guy pulled up and said he was a cab driver. It was my first time in London, so I didn’t have a clue. My friend said come on let’s get in. I wasn’t sure, but didn’t want to be left behind as I don’t know London at all and didn’t want to be left stranded not knowing how to get home.”
After the attack took place, he was unsure whether to go to the police until his sister and a friend encouraged him to report it.
John said: “I’d say anyone who has been assaulted that’s gay should definitely 100 per cent report it to the police. They treat you really well. I’ve seen another side to the police though this case – they are really caring.
“The two City of London police officers dealing with my welfare, Clinton and Deb, have been there to support me. On one occasion, they rushed to my home when I told them how distressed I was.”
John was keen to highlight the medical help he received afterwards, which included post-exposure propylaxis to prevent HIV infection.
He said: “Over the past six months, the effects of the rape have left me feeling suicidal. The HIV medication and the hepatitis jabs I had to take afterwards left me feeling really ill – I was physically sick for a month. But it is really important to get the medical help you need.”
On yesterday’s verdict, he said: “I’m on top of the world – that’s one less person on the streets that can do that.”
John added that clubbers should avoid taking unlicensed cabs and organise their way home in advance.
He said: “People should always know how they’re going to get home. Get into a black cab, don’t get any other taxi. Take it to the train station and wait there for your first train home.”
He added: “I was vulnerable when I was attacked. It was my first time out in London. But really..I know it sounds strange, but I’m more confident having gone through all this. Reporting the crime, dealing with the investigation and especially standing up in court giving evidence on my own. I really am more confident now.
“I am so glad there’s been a good ending, it’s made my Christmas”.
Advice from Transport for London (TFL) on getting home safely states that people should only use pre-booked licensed minicabs or taxis (black cabs).
TFL Cabwise uses GPS to provide three closest minicab numbers (Text CAB to 60835).
There will be an extra charge of £4 for black cab journeys between 8pm on December 24th and 6am on December 27th, and between 8pm on December 31st and 6am on January 2nd.
For a guide to night bus routes from Soho, click here