Isaac Mabwa, 33, falsely imprisoned the woman with the intention of sexually assaulting her, and was only stopped when a brave have-a-go-hero heard the woman’s screams from an unlit car park. A court heard Mabwa picked up the woman in a hire car as she made her way home from a night out and, during the journey, stopped to take cocaine.
But Mabwa, who is a barber, was convicted by a jury of kidnap, false imprisonment and false imprisonment with intent to commit a sexual offence earlier this year and was jailed for nine years on Monday.
Wood Green Crown Court, sitting at Hendon Magistrates’ Court, heard the defendant started driving in the wrong direction and accelerated when the woman tried to escape. He ignored the woman’s pleas to take her home and, after an hour and a half, pulled into a remote car park.
The woman sounded the horn and screamed as she tried to fight him off.
She was overheard by a passerby who ran over shouting at Mabwa.
Sentencing Mabwa, Recorder Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC said: “You picked her up in your car and led her to believe you were a taxi driver. You said you would drive her to her home when she gave her address about 20 minutes away to the north-east.
“Instead you drove her in the opposite direction and for nearly two hours going towards your home in Greenford and a part of London you know well.
“As she tried to contain her panic and get out of the car, you accelerated to prevent her from doing so. She texted for help and gave her location to her boyfriend and another friend.
“You were driving round and stopped at one stage to take cocaine. You had baby oil and condoms with you and you ignored her distress and would not let her go.”
The judge said that, after Mabwa’s arrest, the victim’s belongings were found in his car and on the ground where the struggle had taken place.
She added: “She was bruised and had injuries to her arms, knees and legs.”
The judge recommended that the member of the public who came to the woman’s aid in the car park receive a High Sheriff Award for his “great public spiritedness”.
Mabwa will serve two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for release.
Mabwa, from Ealing, west London, was snagged after the hero at the car park took note of the car’s registration plate. He gave it to officers at Metropolitan Police in May 2017 in the days after the ordeal.
In a victim impact statement, the woman said: “It is really hard for me to express how I feel. At first I thought time would help me deal with this incident since I consider myself psychologically strong.
“Since this happened I began to sleep badly. I cannot sleep for more than four hours at a time.
“I used to ask my friends not to leave me alone at any time. Sometimes it’s days until I force myself to go out.
“I have to put music on my headphones to go to and from the street. I feel my legs shaking when I am alone and my breathing becomes accelerated just thinking someone could be looking at me.
“I have stopped working. I only go out when I run out of food. I spend most of my time alone at home where I feel calm and safe.
“I no longer like to be touched and I have become unloving.
“Some days I feel I’m worthless and difficult to love like that. The problem is not getting any better. On the contrary it’s getting worse by the day and I do not want to continue like this. I want to be happy, positive, smile and live a beautiful life.”
At the trial, Mabwa insisted the pair were on a “consensual joy ride” and the victim had been aggressive to him when he refused to take her home.
Paul Walker, defending, said Mabwa had turned to drink after the breakdown of a relationship with his child’s mother.
He said: “It seems 2017 was a particularly difficult year for him, if that was a catalyst for these offences for him, perhaps it was.
“The drinking it seems, which the author of the pre-sentence report points to, being linked to the offence and after the breakdown of the relationship with his partner.
“That may be partly linked to what happened in this extremely unfortunate and unpleasant matter where a young woman was subjected to the circumstances that we know about.”