Monday, February 16, 2009

Convicted of raping three women passengers cab driver Hassan Nagi walked free from court.

HE has been convicted of raping three women passengers and yet taxi driver Hassan Nagi walked free from court on bail yesterday. Despite subjecting his victims to violent assaults, the serial predator will remain at liberty until late April, when he is sentenced.
Nagi, 37, was granted bail in the local court soon after his arrest in January last year. After he pleaded guilty in the District Court yesterday to assaulting three passengers in 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Nagi was only charged with the earlier rapes after his DNA, taken from his most recent victim, was linked to the other earlier cases. He had planned to fight the charges, arguing that he should face separate trials over each incident. I sleep with prostitutes: Cab driver's rape defence; Defence claimed Mr Nagi had sex with a prostitute on at least two occasions inside his cab and then began arguing over the fare.

But after Judge Bennett ordered that the cases be tried together and allowed prosecutors to highlight similarities between the attacks, he confessed. The married father of three, who cried when admitting to the rapes, faces a lengthy jail term. Yesterday two of his victims looked on, one wiping away tears, as he pleaded guilty to six charges of sexual intercourse without consent.

The court heard that in June 2007, Nagi picked up a 27-year-old woman outside a football match in Kogarah, driving her to an industrial area. He unzipped his pants and forced her into sex, pushing her face-first on to the ground. She managed to escape from the taxi when it stopped at traffic lights.

Police took DNA samples from Nagi after his arrest, linking him to two "strikingly similar" cases involving victims aged 23 and 31. In December 2006, Nagi raped the younger woman after picking her up outside a Kings Cross nightclub. He laughed at her during the assault and afterwards offered her $20, increasing it to $50 when she refused to accept it.

The other victim, raped in the back of his cab in July 2003, was also picked up outside a Kings Cross nightclub. Drunk and vulnerable, she could not fight him off as he told her: "You know you want this." Nagi will be sentenced by Judge Bennett in April.

Bill Warner
private investigator