A taxi driver has been jailed for sexually assaulting a woman in his taxi, prompting police to urge other potential victims to contact them.
The woman’s friends found her in a debilitated state and could not recall the attack after a night out in Southampton in October 2022, police said.
Hardeep Landa, 30, of Northumberland Road pleaded guilty to assault by penetration and two counts of sexual assault.
He was jailed for six years and eight months at Southampton Crown Court.
In the victim’s statement recorded by police, the 21-year-old woman recalls later being told what happened to her in the early morning hours of October 26.
She told the court: “I was sobbing… I felt very nauseous… I felt so dirty. After I finished showering, I still felt I was not clean.
“I scrub and scrub like I’m almost scrubbing my skin. I come out of the shower red.”
Police said friends found the victim naked in a taxi in a parking lot on St Mary’s Road after searching for her.
Police said she could not recall the attack being caught on camera inside the taxi.
Landa, a licensed private hire driver, was also awarded a Sexual Assault Prevention Order and placed on the Sex Offender Register.
Det Con Emma Cooke said: “This was a cowardly attack on a woman who was clearly in a very vulnerable position that evening.
“We know this incident will have an impact on how women and young girls may see licensed taxi drivers in Southampton in the future, but we would like to reiterate that the majority of drivers Taxis are genuine people.
“If, looking at today’s verdict, you also believe that you may be the victim of sexual advances committed by Hardeep Landa as a passenger in his rented car, then we I suggest you come forward.”
Phil Bates, licensing director at Southampton City Council, said: “Sampampton City Council has been at the forefront of making taxi cameras mandatory… and we remain one of the few councils to do so. So.”