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Muslim taxi driver falsely accused of sexual assault

Muslim taxi driver falsely accused of sexual assault

Categories: Latest News

Thursday September 21 2017

A Muslim taxi driver in Leeds was falsely accused of sexual assault by aspiring police officer, Sophie Pointon, after he drove her home from a night out on 22 April, The Mirror reports. 
In the driver’s account, Pointon was highly intoxicated when she got into his car and became abusive towards him when he refused to accept a £10 note from her that was soaked in kebab oil.
The 22-year-old Pointon called the police early in the morning to accuse the driver of assaulting her and signed a statement describing details of the alleged attack. The driver was held in custody by the police for six hours and was unable to work for four weeks because of the allegation. 
Recordings between the driver and his taxi office, as well as data from the GPS tracker attached to the car, revealed that Pointon’s account of the taxi journey were false. 
After the police challenged her account, Pointon asked if she could drop the charges. She has admitted to perverting justice and has been jailed for 16 months. 
The driver, father of five, stated, “I am now extremely reluctant to take lone females in case I am accused again…. I feel religiously tainted from this, and no help from the police or the courts can help that.”
The motives behind Pointon’s false accusations are unclear. What is clear, however, is that her false accusations have had a negative impact on the driver’s economic, social, and psychological wellbeing. 
This is not the first time that a Muslim taxi driver has been falsely accused sexual assault in Britain. In 2007, a Bradford driver suffered severe financial and social losses after being falsely accused of rape by one of his passengers. In 2015, a Muslim cabbie in Chester was wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting three female customers, but later found to be innocent. 
While there is no single solution to this complex set of challenges, there are several steps individuals and communities can take to address the problems of prejudice, discrimination, and misrepresentation. 
To combat Islamophobia in your local community, consider hiring MEND’s Islamophobia exhibition
To familiarise yourself with the roles and responsibilities of Police and Crime Commissioners, who are tasked with improving community policing, click here
And to better understand media representation of Muslims and steps you can take to respond to violations of media regulations, click here

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