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Rapist cabbie jailed

Rapist David Stirrups
Rapist David Stirrups

by Annette Wilson

A Thanet taxi driver who raped a drunken customer after taking her home and helping her indoors has been jailed.

David Stirrups, 54, first attacked the woman from behind as she was bending down to take off her shoes.

He then turned her round and raped her again.

The next day she felt very unwell and unsure whether to report matters but later went to the police.

After the attack, Stirrups returned to the Ramsgate taxi rank where he was working that night and boasted to other drivers.

Prosecutor Christopher May told Canterbury Crown Court that Stirrups had told another driver that if a female passenger could not pay, he asked for oral sex.

Stirrups, of Whitfield Avenue, St Peters, Broadstairs, was arrested and claimed she had consented to the sex.

But weeks before he was due to go on trial, he admitted two rape charges.

Judge Adele Williams told Stirrups he had taken advantage of his victim's condition and she had been left traumatised, withdrawn and depressed.

He had no history of sex offences although he had convictions for burglary, dishonesty and offences relating to motor vehicles.

Stirrups was handed an extended nine year sentence of which the custodial element was seven years with an extended two year licence.

He will actually serve three and a half years behind bars, and be on licence for five and a half years.

He has been banned from working as a taxi driver or anything similar indefinitely.

Mr May said the victim had been on a girls' night out, ending up at a pub in Ramsgate.

She had a lot to drink and was also taking antibiotics and by the end of the evening she was feeling extremely drunk and decided to go home.

She went to the taxi rank at Harbour Parade where Stirrups' cab was head of the line and said she had only £6.

He agreed to take her home but on the way, as a result of the alcohol, she vomited into her bag so she didn't make a mess in the taxi.

She was sick again outside the car before getting home where she tried to clean some mess off the seat before leaving the car.

Stirrups helped her to the front door and she went into the hall and recalled paying him the £6. He said there was usually a £50 fee for cleaning.

He followed her indoors, where the rapes happened.

The Crown entirely rejected Stirrups account of it being consensual sex, added Mr May.

A victim impact statement made by the woman was handed to Judge Williams but not read out in open court.

But Mr May did say she had set out the profound degree of impact events had on her.

She had suffered significantly emotionally and in terms of her general approach and obvious worries about the potential affect of the rape on her physically.

"She remains extremely fearful and it has changed her approach to social activity. She remains fearful of men and of taxi drivers," said Mr May.

Oliver Saxby, for Stirrups, submitted an extended sentence would be appropriate and stressed Sturrips had nothing similar in his past.

Jailing Stirrups, Judge Williams said Stirrups' remark about asking women for sex when they could not pay had "unhappy echoes with what happened in this case.

"The impact statement leaves me in no doubt that these offences had a profound affect in the victim.

"She has been traumatised and left feeling withdrawn and depressed.

"She found it particularly difficult to wait for the results of tests for sexually transmitted diseases all of which proved negative in due course."

She added: "I have to consider whether you do pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to women by the commission of further specified offences.

"By reason of the facts of these offences and the remarks you made following the rapes to fellow drivers and generally to them in relation to female passengers, I concluded you do pose a significant risk which can be managed by an extended prison sentence."

Stirrups will be on the sex offenders' register and subject of a sex offences prevention order indefinitely.

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