Unlicensed taxi driver Nathan Gifford jailed for eight years after raping drunk woman
An unlicensed cab driver who raped a drunk woman after he
offered her a lift home from a Gillingham nightclub on Christmas
Eve last year has been jailed for eight years.
Nathan Gifford, 44, of Coleshall Close, Senacre in Maidstone,
had denied the attack but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone
Passing sentence today, Judge Philip Statman said although he
accepted Gifford had not lay in wait for his victim, he was “far
from being a Good Samaritan”.
Gifford, who has six children by four women, will serve half his
sentence less 221 days already spent on remand. He thanked the
judge at the end of the hearing.
The victim was in court, supported by family and friends.
Judge Statman remarked that despite what he had read in her
victim impact statement, she should not blame herself for her
At Gifford’s trial, a jury of seven women and five men heard the
woman staggered out of Bliss nightclub in Canterbury Street.
CCTV footage showed her slumped on the pavement and tests later
revealed she would have been almost three times the drink-drive
As she walked along the road, Gifford drove past, parked and
crossed the road to talk to her as she sat on the ground.
He helped her to her feet and put his arm around her as they
When she slumped to the ground again, Gifford returned to his
car, drove up to the woman and then, with the help of a passer-by,
put her in his car before driving to a side road.
Judge Statman said Gifford then took advantage of the woman
before “unceremoniously dumping” her in the street.
“She tried to fight off your advances unsuccessfully,” he
The judge added: “This was an opportunistic crime, not a case
where you were looking for someone to rape late at night.
“However, that being said, in my judgment this was a case where
there was a clear abuse of your position of trust.
“You presented yourself to this young woman by offering her the
opportunity for a safe lift home...She was entitled to place her
trust in you.
"He was just like a normal taxi driver…” – Nathan Gifford's victim
“Far from being the Good Samaritan, you ended up with her in the
position that I have described.”
The court was told that Gifford has a previous conviction for
sexual assault in 1995 but that it related to “unusual”
circumstances and he was given a community order by
Gifford was banned indefinitely under a sexual offences
prevention order from driving any vehicle “for reward or hire”. He
is also barred from working with children or vulnerable adults, and
must sign on the sex offenders’ register for life.
During their deliberations, which lasted more than 15 hours, the
jury had to be reminded by the judge to remain faithful to their
oath after claims of “bullying” among themselves. The eventual
verdict was unanimous.
Gifford's victim, who cannot be identified, told
KentOnline: "I got into what I thought was a taxi and then he
attacked me. He was just like a normal taxi driver.
"I try not to think about him. It just makes me feel
sick that someone could do that to someone else."
The woman had to go through the gruelling process of giving
evidence in court after Gifford denied the offence.
"It was a relief when he did get found guilty but it was
horrible, really horrible, to have to go through," she said.
Now the victim wants to warn other women to be vigilant on
She said: "I would just say always use a reputable taxi company
that you know of or have used before.
"He was an unlicensed taxi, so as long as you go with a company,
the chances of it happening to you are a lot less."
Nathan Gifford was
sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court
DI Lee Whitehead, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime
Directorate, said: "Gifford gave the impression of being a
professional taxi driver and then preyed on the victim whilst she
was in a vulnerable state.
"The victim probably felt that she was safe when she stepped
into the rogue taxi driver’s vehicle but he took full advantage of
"Gifford denied the offence throughout the trial, which resulted
in the victim having to suffer the ordeal of being cross-examined
in court. She was incredibly brave to come forward and support this
prosecution. Her actions have prevented someone else having to go
through what she has."
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