22 Apr 2009

Former taxi driver jailed for raping passenger

8:05 pm on 22 April 2009

A former Wellington taxi driver found guilty of raping a teenage passenger has been jailed for nine years.

Abdirazak Mussa, 56, who is HIV positive, cried as he was sentenced in Wellington District Court on Wednesday.

Mussa was found guilty of two rape charges at his retrial in March this year.

The Crown sought a 12-year sentence, citing Mussa's huge breach of trust in taking the passenger to his home, rather than to her own home as she had asked.

However, his lawyer said an eight-year starting point would be appropriate to recognise mitigating features, such as the abuse and brutalisation Mussa suffered in his homeland of Somalia before he came to New Zealand as a refugee.

Judge Bruce Davidson set a starting point of 11 years' jail, but reduced that by two years for what he described as Mussa's unusual personal circumstances.

Mussa's lawyer indicated that an appeal will be filed against the conviction.