Romanian taxi driver, 45, raped mother-of-three in the back of his cab after she fell asleep following a night out, court told

A Romanian taxi driver raped a female passenger in the back of his cab after she fell asleep following a night out, a court has heard. Ioan-Cristian Manole allegedly took advantage of his ‘very tired’ lone female customer after she dozed off in the early hours of the morning....READ FULL ARTICLE

Prosecutors claim Manole, 45, parked his cab in a secluded area on a road before removing the sleeping woman’s leggings and underwear. The mother-of-three, in her 40s, woke up and found Manole raping her, leaving her in ‘hysterics’, it was heard.

The alleged attack happened in the Fareham area of Hampshire, after the woman – who can’t be named for legal reasons – booked a taxi home from a friend’s house.

Ioan-Cristian Manole allegedly took advantage of his ‘very tired’ lone female customer after she dozed off in the early hours of the morning

The mother-of-three, in her 40s, woke up and found Manole raping her, leaving her in ‘hysterics’, Winchester Crown Court heard After she fled the taxi, the woman ‘sought refuge’ with a neighbour and was said to arrive at his in ‘hysterics’.

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Prosecutor Simon Foster Foster told the court: ‘She was sobbing, she was distressed and of course he asked her ‘what’s happened?’. She said that she had nowhere else to go.

‘He wanted to know whether she was hurt and she said no she hadn’t been hurt, but ‘I have been raped’. ‘She was asked ‘who?’ and gave the answer ‘it was the taxi driver’.’

Opening the trial at Winchester Crown Court, prosecutor Mr Foster said: ‘She did not consent, she said she woke up in the taxi with this defendant already sexually penetrating her.

‘We’re not talking in this case about two parties who met in a bar, or something like that, we’re talking about a taxi driver and his charge. ‘Obviously a taxi driver is not a police officer or someone charged with the protection of the public.

‘But, a taxi driver who is asked to take a lone female passenger home has a duty to see her home safely and properly.’ Mr Foster told the court that evening the woman had been out with friends for drinks.

Mr Foster said around 3am the woman left her friend’s home in the Aqua Cars taxi and she had conversation with Manole. Manole said he was divorced, lived in Southampton, Hants, and had a teenage daughter who was studying in Romania.

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Mr Foster said: ‘The journey home was uneventful. There was some conversation between them until the taxi driver pulled up near where to where it was that she lives.

Manole alleges the sex was consensual and that he asked her if ‘he could have sex with her and she said yes’. Pictured outside of Winchester Crown Court

‘She recalled taking her seatbelt off and paying and she was still chatting to the taxi driver who at one point was on the telephone in Romanian – she didn’t, of course, understand.

‘She described that she was sitting in the back behind the driver of the taxi and fell asleep.’

The mother did not know how long she was asleep for and came round to find Manole raping her in the back seat of the taxi. Mr Foster added: ‘When she came to, she realised of course what was happening and it stopped.

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‘That taxi driver had taken advantage of a very tired female. She could feel his body against hers. She reacted by sitting up immediately.’

Manole is said to have dropped the passenger home and she ‘grabbed her’ leggings and underwear and left the vehicle. Mr Foster said: ‘She described feeling shocked and numb.’

In a police interview played to the court, the woman said ‘everything has completely changed’ after the rape. She said she woke up in the taxi to a ‘sudden pain’ which ‘jolted me back to what was happening’.

She said: ‘When I realised what that pain was, that’s when I realised what he was doing.’

The mother described attending her neighbour’s house and said: ‘I was hysterical and collapsed on the floor. He asked me what happened and I said I had been raped by a taxi diver.’

Manole alleges the sex was consensual and that he asked her if ‘he could have sex with her and she said yes’. He denies rape and sex assault by penetration....READ FULL ARTICLE

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