Barzan Nawshowani: Bogus taxi driver who abducted and raped woman in Glasgow has sentence increased

15 May 2024, 15:24 | Updated: 15 May 2024, 17:13

A man who pretended to be a taxi driver before abducting and raping a woman in a barber shop has had his prison sentence increased by appeal judges.

Barzan Nawshowani, 38, posed as a cabbie to pick up his victim, 20, and her friend after a night out in Glasgow city centre in August 2022.

After dropping off one of the women in Govan, Nawshowani returned to Duke Street in the east end of the city and took his victim into the barber shop where he worked.

Once inside, he closed the electric shutters to prevent her from leaving and switched off the CCTV before raping her.

Nawshowani, an Iraqi Kurdish refugee who successfully secured asylum in the UK, was convicted of rape following a trial and sentenced to six years in jail in February.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) challenged the sentence at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, with Scotland's senior law officer Dorothy Bain KC arguing that it was unduly lenient.

Lord Doherty, sitting with Lord Matthews and Lord Beckett, quashed the original sentence and increased the prison term to eight years.

Once released back into the community, he will also be supervised for three years and can be sent back to jail if he breaches the licence conditions.

Original sentencing judge Lord Colbeck stated that the woman had suffered "psychological harm" as a result of the attack.

The judge highlighted that Nawshowani targeted someone who was "vulnerable" through her consumption of alcohol.

He noted that Nawshowani accepted "no responsibility" for the rape and instead blamed the victim by "accusing her of lying about what happened".

Appeal judge Lord Doherty said: "In our view the sentence passed did not adequately reflect the premeditated and predatory nature of the attack by a man of mature years on a vulnerable young woman."

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He added: "It is clear from her victim impact statement that the attack's effects on her have been very serious.

"We also consider that the sentence did not sufficiently serve the purposes of protection of the public; of marking the court's disapproval of the respondent's conduct; and of deterring others from offending in a similar way.

"Women are entitled to feel safe when they travel by taxi.

"Those who prey upon vulnerable women who require a taxi and sexually assault them should be in no doubt that the courts will take a very serious view of that behaviour."