Uber driver jailed for nine years after raping drunk student on her way home from night out

George Martin
·3-min read
Naiem Malik Suleman offered the 22-year-old woman a lift in his car in the early hours of 19 January last year. (SWNS)
Naiem Malik Suleman offered the 22-year-old woman a lift in his car in the early hours of 19 January last year. (SWNS)

An Uber driver has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years after raping a drunk student who he was giving a lift home after a night out.

Naiem Suleman, 52, attacked the woman after she became separated from her friends in the early hours of 19 January 2019 in Coventry.

He picked up the 22-year-old woman and offered to drive her home, but drove her to a secluded spot where he raped her before dumping her outside her flat.

A court heard Suleman also infected the woman with a sexually transmitted disease.

The woman’s housemates found her in a distressed state and she was wearing Suleman’s work jacket bearing the logo of the company he worked for.

General view of the Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa.
He was jailed for nine-and-a-half years at Warwick Crown Court. (Getty)

He denied rape but was found guilty following a trial at Warwick Crown Court.

On Monday this week Suleman, of Coventry, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing, his victim said: “I needed help to get home, not to be violated by a stranger.”

She said her ordeal affected her studies, and she eventually decided to leave university as a result of her ordeal.

She added: “I want to turn this round from one of the worst days of my life into something positive.

Read more: Former Uber driver who planned to attack Madame Tussauds jailed for life

“I want to show this man that that night in January 2019 I was helpless and vulnerable. I’m not now.”

The court heard the woman suffered bruising around her neck and scrapes and scratches on her knees.

He was arrested after forensic evidence linked him to the crime.

Sentencing Suleman, Judge Anthony Potter said: “I treat you as a man who lured her into your vehicle, probably with a promise to take her home.

“She was particularly vulnerable. She was not just very drunk, she was alone at night. She was physically unable to help herself, let alone protect herself from someone like you.

“You passed a sexually transmitted disease on to her, and it has had a significant impact on her, no matter what her efforts are to put this behind her.

“Students are the very lifeblood of the city, and they are entitled to feel safe to go out at night and to get home safely, not matter how much they have had to drink.

“There has been no expression of remorse from you, and you continue to deny the offence in the face of the overwhelming evidence against you.”

Speaking to the victim who attended court to watch Suleman jailed, Judge Potter said: “You have spoken bravely of seeking to put this behind you, and I very much hope you can.”

The court heard a pre-sentence report found Suleman was a “high risk of harm to female adults”.

Detective Constable Becci Jones, from West Midlands Police Public Protection Unit, said: "It saddens us that throughout this case Suleman denied raping the woman – meaning she also had to endure a court trial.

"But with the support of our specially trained officers she remained strong and resilient and with her help we have now secured his conviction.

“We hope that this will bring her some comfort and wish her well for the future."

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