Taxi driver convicted of rapes in Totternhoe and Luton
A taxi driver from Luton has been convicted of rape after DNA evidence linked him to two unsolved cases from 2007.
Shipu Ahmed, 35, was found guilty at Luton Crown Court today of raping a 15-year-old girl and a 22-year old woman within the space of two weeks in late 2007 after he had picked them up in his black taxi cab.
During the trial the jury heard how between 11pm and 11.30pm on November 30, 2007, Ahmed offered a lift to the 15-year-old girl walking along a street in Eaton Bray.
Ahmed, of Avondale Road, Luton, then took the youngster to a secluded picnic area in Totternhoe Knolls where he raped her before taking her back to Eaton Bray.
The incident was reported to police and the following day a forensic examination of the scene was carried out, resulting in the recovery of a condom which contained some DNA.
Ahmed’s next attack was on a 22-year-old woman. The victim and a friend got into Ahmed’s car at a taxi rank after a night out in Dunstable at around 4am on 15 December 2007. After dropping her friend off, Ahmed sped away with the victim in his taxi and drove the woman to an area of Luton, where he raped her in the back of the car.
She reported it to the police the same morning and had a medical examination, where samples of DNA were taken.
At the time of the attacks, several lines of enquiry were carried out to trace the offender, but officers were unable to identify him.
Then, in September 2017, Ahmed was arrested for an assault and his DNA was collected as part of the investigation. It proved a match on the DNA database from evidence collected during both rape investigations, linking him to the offences.
Officers carried out further lines of enquiry following this discovery and in October 2017, Ahmed was arrested and charged with two counts of rape.
DI Pushpa Guild said: “We’re really pleased that Shipu Ahmed has been found guilty of the heinous crimes he committed more than 10 years ago.
“These attacks have had a huge impact on both the victims and their families since 2007 and its remarkable they finally have justice. This investigation and the advancements in DNA profiling and forensic science show that we now have the means to review cases and bring offenders to justice; no matter how many years ago the offence took place.
“We would like to commend the bravery and courage of the two young women who had to endure the ordeal of giving evidence and reliving their ordeal so many years later.
“We encourage anyone who has been the victim of rape or sexual abuse, no matter when it took place, to come forward and report their experiences, get support and more importantly know they are not alone.”
Ahmed has been remanded in custody pending sentencing on 25 May 2018.
Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.
Victims can report their experience to police by using the online reporting tool or calling 101.
You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), the Emerald Centre, which offers a safe, non-judgmental, caring and sensitive service or the Hope Programme, which provides support, counselling and coaching for sexual victims in Bedfordshire.