August 2023

Predatory Dundee taxi driver jailed for sex attacks on young passengers

A rapist taxi driver who preyed on two teenage passengers has been jailed.

Saifal Zaveri, 42, attacked a 17-year-old student after picking her up as a fare from outside her home in Dundee.

The married father-of-three, who has a previous conviction for stalking, also molested a 16-year-old passenger during a journey from Dundee to Monifieth.

It emerged Zaveri already had a previous conviction for stalking a teenage girl when he was aged 36 at the time.

Zaveri, of Mayfield Grove, Dundee, denied charges of rape and sexual assault but was found guilty following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in June.

Appearing for sentencing at Glasgow High Court, Zaveri’s actions were described as “opportunistic and predatory.”

Zaveri, who quit as director of Abertay Cabs in April 2021, continues to maintain his innocence, the court heard.

The former newsagent was handed an extended 11-year sentence and will serve eight years behind bars.

The former shopkeeper was placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

Lord Fairley told him: “You were convicted by a jury of charges of serious sexual assaults on your passengers of your licensed taxi.

”Both of the complainers were teenagers at the time.”

Zaveri will be monitored for a further three years on his release and be on the sex offenders list indefinitely.

A woman in a group of his family and friends collapsed in tears in the courtroom as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.

The rape victim earlier told jurors how Zaveri had been driving her to address in Dundee when he instead pulled into a lay-by.

She recalled: “I was scared. I just remember him going on about sexual things.

“First of all he was saying I was good looking and then he went to kissing me.

“I had a top on with a zip down the front of it and he unzipped it.”

The young woman told prosecutor Margaret Barron her attacker was aggressive before going on to rape her.

Zaveri went on to state to her: “That was good.”

The teenager eventually escaped before contacting a friend in tears via Snapchat.

Zaveri had earlier pounced on a 16-year-old girl on a journey from Dundee to Monifieth in Angus.

He struck as she sat in the front of his taxi.

Zaveri, also of Dundee, claimed in his evidence that there had been consensual sexual activity with the rape victim.

He told jurors: “I let my family down.”

The predator also insisted nothing happened with the other girl and that all was “fine” when the teenager and her friend got out his vehicle.