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Rapist who attacked teen after asking for directions convicted

|News, Sexual offences

A rapist who asked a teenager for directions before offering her a ride home and attacking her has been convicted.

Taofiq Laguda, 46, was convicted of one count of rape and one count of theft following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court, which concluded on Wednesday, 27 January.

Laguda had spotted his victim walking alone at night when he approached her at around 1.30am on 24 January, 2020. The 18-year-old victim had just finished working at a restaurant in Peckham and had decided to walk home as the bus was taking too long to arrive. 

Driving his wife’s car, Laguda pulled up beside the victim and asked for directions before offering her a lift towards Deptford. The victim agreed. But soon enough Laguda’s demeanour changed, and he told his victim that he could not stop where she wanted. Instead he drove into a dark and secluded area of an estate in Greenwich.

When the victim tried to open the door and told Laguda that it was locked, he said “Oh is it?” before saying “Get in the back or I’ll kill you”.

Laguda raped his victim before driving off with her handbag containing her phone and money in the car.

The victim managed to get help from a passing stranger who then contacted the police on her behalf.

Momata Matin, from the CPS, said: “This was a terrifying sexual attack on a young victim who had believed she had encountered a good Samaritan on her way home from work.

“Taofiq Laguda lured his teenage victim on the pretext of needing directions and giving her a lift in return. But Laguda was not looking for directions, he was cruising around in his wife’s car, without her permission whilst she was abroad, and hoping to find exactly this type of situation -  a lone female in the dark.

“The prosecution case included DNA evidence, strong witness testimony, evidence from number plate recognition and phones to prove Laguda was responsible for the attack.

“During police interview Laguda also claimed that the victim had had consensual sex with him in his car - the jury did not believe his lies.

“Sexual offences are some of the most serious, complex and traumatic crimes. I hope this conviction goes some way in providing a sense of closure to the victim, and encourages other victims of sexual crimes to come forward and see their attackers face justice.”

Laguda will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on 25 February.

Notes to editors

  • Momata Matin is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences unit in CPS London South
  • Taofiq Laguda (D.O.B: 22/12/1974) is from Dagenham.

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