Romanian taxi driver, 45, accused of raping female passenger in the back of his cab after she fell asleep is cleared of attack after telling a court they had consensual sex


  • Ioan-Cristian Manole was cleared following a seven-day trial in Winchester 

A Romanian taxi driver has been cleared of raping a female passenger in the back of his cab after telling a court they had consensual sex.

Ioan-Cristian Manole was accused of taking advantage of a lone female passenger after she dozed off in the early hours of the morning.

Prosecutors claimed that the woman had been left in ‘hysterics’ after allegedly waking up to find the driver raping her. 

But the 45 year old denied the offence and said he asked the mother if he could have sex with her ‘and she said yes’.

Following a seven day trial at Winchester Crown Court jurors delivered not guilty verdicts to rape and sex assault.

Ioan-Cristian Manole (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court) had been accused of raping a female passenger who fell asleep in the back of his taxi

Ioan-Cristian Manole (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court) had been accused of raping a female passenger who fell asleep in the back of his taxi

The defendant (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court) was cleared of rape and sexual assault after a seven-day trial

The defendant (pictured outside Winchester Crown Court) was cleared of rape and sexual assault after a seven-day trial 

Manole appeared at court after the mother-of-three claimed she woke up in the back of his taxi to him raping her after a night out.

The alleged attack happened in the Fareham area, Hampshire, after the woman – who can’t be named for legal reasons – booked a taxi home from a friend’s house.

Opening the trial prosecutor Simon Foster had said: ‘She did not consent, she said she woke up in the taxi with this defendant already sexually penetrating her.

‘We’re not talking in this case about two parties who met in a bar, or something like that, we’re talking about a taxi driver and his charge.

‘Obviously a taxi driver is not a police officer or someone charged with the protection of the public.

‘But, a taxi driver who is asked to take a lone female passenger home has a duty to see her home safely and properly.’

Mr Foster previously told the court that evening the woman had been out with friends for drinks.

Mr Foster said around 3am the woman left her friend’s home in the Aqua Cars taxi and she had conversation with Manole.

Manole said he was divorced, lived in Southampton, and had a teenage daughter who was studying in Romania. 

Mr Foster said: ‘The journey home was uneventful. There was some conversation between them until the taxi driver pulled up near where to where it was that she lives. 

Manole was cleared of rape and sexual assault after a seven-day trial at Winchester Crown Court (pictured)

Manole was cleared of rape and sexual assault after a seven-day trial at Winchester Crown Court (pictured)

‘She recalled taking her seatbelt off and paying and she was still chatting to the taxi driver who at one point was on the telephone in Romanian – she didn’t, of course, understand.

‘She described that she was sitting in the back behind the driver of the taxi and fell asleep.’

The mother did not know how long she was asleep for and came round to find Manole raping her in the back seat of the taxi.

Mr Foster added: ‘When she came to, she realised of course what was happening and it stopped.

‘That taxi driver had taken advantage of a very tired female. She could feel his body against hers. She reacted by sitting up immediately.’

Manole was alleged to have dropped the passenger home and she ‘grabbed her’ leggings and underwear and left the vehicle.

Mr Foster said: ‘She described feeling shocked and numb.’

Manole denied rape and sex assault by penetration and said he asked the mother if ‘he could have sex with her and she said yes’.

During the opening, Mr Foster told the trial: ‘The taxi driver is saying in essence that she was consenting.

‘[He suggests] he did have sex with [her] – his client – after the acquaintance of around half an hour but it was all with her consent.’

The defendant was cleared by the jury of all charges. 



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *