September 2009

Taxi driver jailed for rape of young girl

A 44-year-old taxi driver has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for the rape of a teenage girl and other sexual offences.

Colin Robinson was jailed at St Albans Crown Court after being found guilty by the six men and six women of the jury.

The jury retired to consider the case on Friday and returned the guilty verdicts on Monday afternoon.

Robinson, formerly of Wilshire Avenue, St Albans, but up until his imprisonment living at Heron Close, Rickmansworth, was jailed by Judge John Plumstead shortly after the guilty verdicts to rape of a child under the age of 13 and ten other sexual offences were delivered.

Robinson consistently denied the allegations to police and in the witness box during the week-long trial.

Robinson was arrested on suspicion of rape at his workplace, Area Cars in Uxbridge Road, Rickmansworth, on July 29 last year, after a girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, made an allegation to police.

The offences have no connection to his employment at the taxi firm.

The father of two said on reply to caution: “You’re having a laugh” and went on to deny the allegations in interview.

Robinson was suspended by Area Cars after his arrest at the taxi firm’s office.

Robinson had never been in trouble with the police before and after the conviction fellow drivers at the firm where Robinson had also worked as a controller were said to be “shocked” and “disgusted” by the crime.

The manager, who wished only to be identified by his Christian name, Graham, said: “We are utterly amazed, shocked and disgusted.

“They [former colleagues] are shocked and sickened by the nature of the crime.

“They are very surprised. They thought he would be found not guilty, therefore to get the guilty verdict and 18 years is something that has blown people away.”

He added: “We are trying to comprehend it.”

Taking to the witness box Robinson, a former driving instructor and lorry driver, said he was “totally shocked” when arrested for the alleged offences.

He said he was not attracted to young girls and could not think why the complainant had made the allegations against him.

The court heard that the complainant was a “drama queen” and had previously told police a man in a white van had attempted to abduct her.

Officer in this case Clare Ramirez admitted under cross examination of Nasreen Tincey, for the defence “there were concerns” whether what the girl had said about the attempted abduction “was possible”.

Judge Plumstead banned Robinson from working with children for life and ordered him to comply with requirements of the sex offenders register.

Detective inspector Martin Brace, of Hertfordshire police said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this case and feel that the sentencing suitably reflects the gravity of the offences committed.

“The victim in this case showed tremendous courage in coming forward. The constabulary is committed to tackling those who sexually abuse children and we would urge anyone who believes they have been a victim of such crimes to come forward, no matter how long ago the offences occurred.”

He added: “This sentencing also sends out a message to any other victims that Hertfordshire Constabulary will fully investigate these crimes and work hard with the Crown Prosecution Service to secure convictions.”