Great Britain

Rapist who lured teenager into car for attack convicted

A man who lured a young woman into his car on the pretence of offering her a lift before raping her has been convicted.

Taofiq Laguda, 46, was convicted of one count of rape and one count of theft at a Woolwich Crown Court trial on Wednesday.

The court was told that Laguda, of Dagenham, spotted the woman walking alone in Peckham, south London, at around 1.30am on 24 January last year.

The 18-year-old had just finished a shift at the restaurant where she worked and decided to go home by foot because her bus was taking too long.

Using his wife's car while she was on holiday, Laguda approached the woman and asked her for directions. He then offered her a lift towards Deptford and she agreed.

Laguda's mood changed on the journey, the court heard, and he drove past the point where he had agreed to take the woman.

He then drove her to a dark, secluded area of a Greenwich estate. Laguda threatended to kill the woman after she tried to escape.

Laguda then attacked the woman before driving off with her handbag, which contained her money and phone.

Momata Matin, from the CPS, said: “This was a terrifying sexual attack on a young victim who had believed she had encountered a good Samaritan on her way home from work.

“Taofiq Laguda lured his teenage victim on the pretext of needing directions and giving her a lift in return. 

"But Laguda was not looking for directions, he was cruising around in his wife’s car, without her permission whilst she was abroad and hoping to find exactly this type of situation -  a lone female in the dark.

“The prosecution case included DNA evidence, strong witness testimony, evidence from number plate recognition and phones to prove Laguda was responsible for the attack."

Matin added: “During police interview, Laguda also claimed that the victim had had consensual sex with him in his car - the jury did not believe his lies.

“Sexual offences are some of the most serious, complex and traumatic crimes. I hope this conviction goes some way in providing a sense of closure to the victim, and encourages other victims of sexual crimes to come forward and see their attackers face justice.”

Laguda will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on 25 February.

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