Kent

Unlicensed Kent taxi driver guilty of Christmas Eve rape

An unlicensed taxi driver has been found guilty of raping a 25-year-old woman on Christmas Eve in Gillingham.

Nathan Lee Gifford, 44, of Coleshall Close, Maidstone, attacked the woman after he helped her into a taxi he had borrowed to pick up unofficial fares in Canterbury Street.

The woman had been out partying with friends, but became separated and left the club at 02:35 GMT.

Gifford will be sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on 3 August.

According to Kent Police, the woman was discovered by two men curled up in an alleyway near the Medway Maritime Hospital at 03:10 GMT.

Gifford, who denied the rape, was charged on Christmas Day.

Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham said: "Fortunately, this sort of crime is uncommon, but has a significant impact on the victim, who, in this case, was subjected to a harrowing ordeal last Christmas.

"I would like to praise the courage of this woman and all the witnesses who helped officers with the investigation."

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